Ryan Gravenberch joined Liverpool this summer from Bayern Munich, where he failed to make much of an impact on the German side. However, here on Merseyside, he has already scored two goals and notched two assists in his 10 appearances.
Assistant coach Pep Lijnders defended the 21-year-old’s talent and potential before the team’s League Cup game against Bournemouth.
“We knew what he is capable of,” Lijnders said. “It is the Ryan Gravenberch of Ajax that we see now. I’m not sure what happened at Bayern, you cannot judge that, but each player with confidence and without confidence is a different player. Each player with game time or without game time is a different player. That’s how it is.”
About his style of play, Lijnders said, “Ryan in the final third, as an eight, is the one who slides, the one who still has overview, the one who has a first touch with his left or right to get out of a situation, out of proper pressure. He can keep the ball under high pressure and still find the passing option forward.
“He is a complete, complete eight with scoring and with attitude. It is the eight we searched for and the eight we got. We are thankful to our owners and our scouting and everyone who made it happen.”
High praise from the assistant manager, who made it clear the faith they have in their new midfielder and how they expect him to perform in the future. He hasn’t immediately shone the way that Dominik Szoboszlai has, but those who have watched Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool are used to new players taking their time to bed into the team.
Gravenberch has started the last three matches. He may begin Wednesday’s game on the bench if Klopp wants to give him a rest before potentially starting against Luton Town.