Exploring Ryan Gravenberch’s Liverpool Struggles

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Ryan Gravenberch’s Liverpool Struggles: Cause for Concern or Time for Patience?

Liverpool were heavily active in the transfer window last summer as they looked to completely rebuild their midfield. Following the departures of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the Reds had a huge challenge ahead regarding their midfield issues.

This ultimately led to the signings of Wataru Endo, Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Ryan Gravenberch. Whilst the first three of the names mentioned above have all enjoyed rather successful debut seasons at Anfield, Gravenberch has really struggled to provide the same level of performances.

Gravenberch’s Naïve Performances

Gravenberch is obviously the youngest player out of the four signed last summer at just 21-years-old. With that being said, he’s still only slightly younger than Mac Allister and Szoboszlai. However, his game has a level of rawness, and I guess you could even say immaturity, that isn’t present in the other midfielders play.

Even when you compare him to players of the same age, like Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott, the gap in ability and maturity is incredibly clear to see. That’s not to be too harsh on Gravenberch, but he has clearly got a lot to learn before he can become an important player for Liverpool.

Patience the Key to Gravenberch’s Potential

Perhaps patience is the key to unlocking Gravenberch’s potential, with his potential clear to see. After an injury plagued debut season at Liverpool, the Dutchman has certainly struggled for rhythm since his arrival at Anfield.

Gravenberch definitely holds a high potential and has the ideal physical stature for a dominating midfielder, which is obviously part of the reasons why Liverpool signed him in the first place. He showcased his impressive ability at Ajax especially, but perhaps we are starting to see the Gravenberch that Bayern Munich had struggled to work out.

Gravenberch’s Fast Start

It would also be harsh to claim that all of Gravenberch’s debut season has been a write off though, as that simply isn’t the case. At one point, Gravenberch had huge amounts of Liverpool fans incredibly excited, mostly from his impressive performances in the Europa League group stage.

Despite his severe lack of minutes, the Dutchman has still contributed to three goals and two assists this season which still averages out at better than the previous crop of midfielders were offering. However, most of his issues have come in his performances in the Premier League.

The 21-year-old is yet to register a direct goal involvement in his 21 Premier League appearances so far. Perhaps his biggest downfall is his lack of reliability in Liverpool’s important games in the important competitions.

Fierce Competition

He certainly hasn’t been helped by the improvement in performances from the likes of Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott this season. It’s also clear to see that Gravenberch doesn’t really dominate a certain aspect of Liverpool’s play more than his midfield rivals.

For example, he isn’t as good on the ball as the likes of Jones, Mac Allister and Szoboszlai, his positioning and defensive isn’t better than any of Klopp’s other midfield options either and neither is his work rate.

Looking Ahead

I suspect patience will prevail when it comes to deciding Gravenberch’s future, but Liverpool don’t really have a choice. They certainly won’t want to lose any money on the youngster but there’s also no chance of anyone coming in with such money for him at the moment.

Perhaps he could become a crucial player for us under a new manager and he could go on to reach the potential that we all know he is capable of. Either way, next season will prove to be a crucial year for Gravenberch’s future at Liverpool.

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