Liverpool first tried to sign Ryan Gravenberch in the summer of 2022, with some reports going as far as to suggest Jürgen Klopp saw the young midfielder as being at the same level as Jude Bellingham and Aurélien Tchouaméni.
Instead of joining the Reds, though, he picked Bayern Munich. After a difficult 2022-23 season with the German champions, Liverpool again began to work on him in April, seeing a chance to land one of their top targets a year on.
On deadline day, they finally got him, signing the 21-year-old from Bayern in a €40M deal. There are questions as to where he fits into the squad as currently constructed; there are no questions about how highly the club rate him.
“He’s an exceptional talent,” raved manager Jürgen Klopp. “Everybody knows that. He is 21, played over 100 games for Ajax already. But the position he is best at, [Bayern Munich] don’t really have in their system. We have that—that’s good.
“Unfortunately we have now an international break and cannot work together, but when he is back we start it. Very excited about it. He is a smart boy. When I talked to him I realised that pretty quickly. And he loves to be here as well.”
As for what exactly his role will be for Liverpool moving forward, Klopp was quick to highlight Gravenberch’s ability to progress the ball both on the ground and through the air and to influence the game at both ends of the pitch.
“He is super-talented, he can drive the ball, he can be really a box-to-box threat,” Klopp added of the club’s final signing of the summer window. “He has a good eye for a pass and a good pass. Really excited. It fits into our squad.
“We have a big challenge to reinvent one of the most successful midfields this club ever had, and I like it. When I look now at the team, it’s a good team. We signed a really good player, now let’s help him get the best out of himself.”