Behind-The-Scenes Look At Liverpool’s Signing of Ryan Gravenberch
Liverpool’s recent acquisition of Ryan Gravenberch has been a topic of much discussion and intrigue. James Pearce and Simon Hughes of The Athletic delved deep into the intricate process behind the move. Here’s a closer look into the signing of the Dutch midfielder, capturing the excitement of a potential star in the making at Anfield.
As Gravenberch made his way into Liverpool’s training complex, familiar faces like Virgil van Dijk and Cody Gakpo warmly greeted him. Jurgen Klopp’s jovial embrace and words, “Let’s start with the worst — the weather isn’t as good as Munich, but the rest is top. It’s a massive club. We will help you with all we can,” painted a vivid picture of the warmth and camaraderie in the Liverpool camp.
Gravenberch’s stint at Bayern Munich wasn’t exactly a fairytale, having started in just three Bundesliga matches. This move to Liverpool offers him a fresh start, with both club and player displaying great patience throughout the transfer saga. As Pearce and Hughes revealed:
“Liverpool had scouted Gravenberch extensively since his days in the youth ranks at Ajax when his energy and determination stood out.”
Gravenberch’s move wasn’t a simple straight-line process. Despite positive dialogues between Liverpool and Gravenberch’s agent Rafaela Pimenta, Bayern initially seemed reluctant to sell. Liverpool’s chief scout Barry Hunter even had a fruitful meeting with Gravenberch’s father, Ryan Senior. But it was only in the dying hours of the transfer window that Bayern chose to release the unsettled player.
Finally, Liverpool have a decent Dutch player…
— Simon Hughes (@Simon_Hughes__) September 7, 2023
Gravenberch’s Promising Career and Setbacks
Thomas Tuchel’s explanation about Gravenberch’s mismatch with Bayern’s system further clarifies Liverpool’s decision.
“What Thomas Tuchel said, the position he is best at, they don’t really have in their system. We have that — that’s good,” Klopp remarked.
Gravenberch’s versatility, as well as his potential, convinced Klopp he would be an ideal fit.
From making history at Ajax as the youngest Eredivisie debutant to having over 100 appearances by 20, Gravenberch’s career has been nothing short of noteworthy. “He became the youngest player in the club’s history to grace the Eredivisie when Erik ten Hag gave him his debut at 16 years and 130 days in 2018,” as observed by Pearce and Hughes.
However, his move to Bayern brought challenges. His difficulties in adapting to the Bundesliga only reaffirmed Liverpool’s interest, seeing a potential comeback in the Premier League under a manager who genuinely valued him.
“Manchester United had also been interested, but by then their attention had shifted to signing Sofyan Amrabat on loan from Fiorentina. Gravenberch’s heart was set on Anfield anyway and Liverpool moved swiftly to get their man.”
Looking Forward to a Bright Future at Anfield
Gravenberch’s dedication is evident. He chose to forgo a holiday post the European Under-21s Championship, aiming to kickstart the new season in top shape. Having faced setbacks at Bayern, he’s fuelled with determination to prove himself as one of Europe’s top midfield prodigies.
By the time ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ resonated in Anfield, Gravenberch was seen soaking in the ambiance of his new home, signalling the dawn of a new chapter.
Both the club and player played the waiting game, but ultimately, Liverpool seems to have landed a gem. The coming seasons will reveal if Gravenberch can truly shine in the illustrious red of Liverpool.