Liverpool have had a quiet summer in terms of incomings, although that could be about to change as the current transfer window draws to a conclusion.
The sale of Xherdan Shaqiri to Ligue 1 outfit Lyon means that the Reds have now made a profit on players in recent months despite the £36m arrival of Ibrahima Konate, so a second summer acquisition could be on the cards.
According to the Liverpool Echo, any last-minute arrival would be a youngster who has the potential for further growth, with Ajax’s Ryan Gravenberch thought to be on the club’s wishlist. However, the report states that an overhaul of the Liverpool midfield is more likely to take place next summer, although an imminent move was not ruled out.
After graduating through Ajax’s famed youth academy, Gravenberch has gone on to cement himself in the club’s first team setup, scoring nine goals and providing seven assists in 64 appearances for his boyhood club.
The 19-year-old has won two Eredivisie titles and two Dutch Cups during his short professional career, establishing himself as one of Europe’s most promising teenagers and attracting praise from several impressed onlookers.
Former Netherlands international Wim Kieft is one of those convinced about Gravenberch’s incredible potential. Last year he stated in his De Telegraaf column: “He is the greatest talent in the Netherlands. Only 18-years-old, but the prototype of a complete player. You see him grow every week.
“If someone like this makes his debut at the highest level, the big question is whether he can keep up with the faster pace. Gravenberch picks up on that very quickly. Also, in the Champions League. When you see how, despite his height and physically, he easily turns away in the crowds and accelerates, you don’t see that much.”
Despite being 6 foot 2, Gravenberch is able to turn away from his marker and slalom through opposition defenders with ease. He has got the perfect blend of natural physicality and tactical intelligence, making him an ideal signing for any top-level team.
Therefore, Liverpool’s director of football Michael Edwards must swoop for the talented teenager before the August 31 deadline.
The Anfield outfit have failed to replace Gini Wijnaldum in the midfield engine room so far, while their main domestic rivals have significantly strengthened their squads, bringing in marquee signings such as Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho and Romelu Lukaku.
In a year’s time, there’s likely to be a lengthy list of potential suitors for Gravenbach given his ability, but it’s unlikely that many clubs can afford him this late in the current window, so Liverpool need to take advantage while the ball is in their court.