Who is Ryan Gravenberch? The Liverpool midfielder Jurgen Klopp believes has ‘massive potential’

Ryan Gravenberch after Liverpool’s win over Wolves (Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Ryan Gravenberch could make his full debut for Liverpool against LASK in the Europa League, and Jurgen Klopp has already spoken highly of the midfielder.

Gravenberch was signed at the end of the summer transfer window from Bayern Munich, accompanied by a high price tag of £34m despite being just 21 years old, and has already impressed his teammates in training.

He drew criticism recently from some in the Netherlands when he elected to remain at Liverpool rather than represent the Dutch under-21s during the recent international break. But while those in the national setup were reportedly not happy with his decision, fans of Klopp’s side could argue it shows a commitment to his new club.

Gravenberch built a strong reputation as he rose through the ranks at Ajax, and was reportedly first on Liverpool’s radar when a scout saw him as a 13-year-old playing for the Dutch side’s under-16s. He went on to become the youngest player in the club’s history when he made his senior debut aged 16 under Erik ten Hag.

After an early rise to the top of Dutch football, however, his career stalled slightly when he made the move to German giants Bayern Munich. He was in Bavaria for only one season, and made 33 appearances but just six starts, of which only three came in the Bundesliga.

Gravenberch came off the bench in the 89th minute to replace Mohamed Salah as Liverpool secured a comeback victory over Wolves in the Premier League at the weekend – his first appearance for the club. But a start could be just around the corner as Liverpool head into their Europa League campaign against Austrian club LASK.

The 21-year-old has already earned praise from his teammates in the short time he has been on Merseyside, with Diogo Jota telling media: “You can see already the quality he brings and has on his feet. I think he will be one more to help us going forward.”

Klopp does not like to be drawn too much on players but has spoken of Gravenberch as one for the future, saying in a press conference: “He’s so skilled, I don’t like to talk about the things he is not good at yet.

“(Gravenberch) is a real talent. So now we have to see. We obviously have good players and we don’t need to push him in because he is new, it’s a mid and long-term project and he will be with us definitely and will have enough opportunities to play.”

Klopp also described the midfielder, saying: “He is a good guy and a player with massive potential.”

There is a noticeable gap in Liverpool’s strength in midfield this season, following the summer departures of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho to Saudi Arabia, while James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also moved away from Merseyside, and Thiago Alcantara has been injured.

There is an opportunity for Gravenberch to cement his place if he does impress for the first team, and if not plenty of opportunities are expected to materialise throughout the season.


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