Liverpool complete £34.2m Gravenberch deal

Liverpool have completed the £34.2m signing of midfielder Ryan Gravenberch from Bayern Munich on Deadline Day.

The 21-year-old has signed a five-year deal with Jurgen Klopp’s side and becomes the Reds’ fourth summer signing – with all of them being midfielders.

The Netherlands international has joined Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Wataru Endo in moving to Anfield this summer after Liverpool let Fabinho, Naby Keita, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Fabio Carvalho depart this summer.

Gravenberch is desperate for the opportunity to steer his development back on track after being starved of minutes at Bayern Munich.

He joined the German champions from Ajax last summer but started just three Bundesliga games last season, while his only appearance this season came off the bench in last Saturday’s home win over Augsburg.

Gravenberch, who will wear the number 38 shirt, told “I’m very happy. Very happy that the deal is done and I’m finally here.

“If you see it from the outside, it’s one of the biggest clubs in the world. Also the fans, the stadium, I think everything from the outside is top. So that’s why [it was the right club].

“I’m really looking forward to [being at Anfield] and I can’t wait to hear the You’ll Never Walk Alone song.

“Now we start fresh again, a new start, and I’m going to give my all for this club. [My ambitions are] to win prizes. To win prizes, play a lot and show them who we are and who I am.”

How Liverpool signed Gravenberch

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A look at Liverpool target Ryan Gravenberch’s best bits for Bayern Munich

As revealed by Sky Sports News last summer, Liverpool’s interest in Gravenberch is long-standing. He was on a shortlist of three options before opting to move to Bayern from Ajax in June 2022.

Meetings with the player’s representative, Jose Fortes Rodriguez from Raiola, have been regular since last year.

Gravenberch has been part of Liverpool’s thinking all summer, but the club had other priorities and Bayern had not initially been open to a sale.

Once Liverpool lost out on Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia to Chelsea, they resumed trying to make a deal for Gravenberch work with Manchester United also interested in the midfielder.

United boss Erik ten Hag, who promoted the multi-functional midfielder to the first team and extracted the best from him at Ajax, has been trying to sign him since the winter window.

United made a check on Gravenberch’s availability in January, but were blocked by Bayern, and ended up loaning Marcel Sabitzer instead.

Carra: I’m not sure Gravenberch is what Liverpool need

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After seeing Liverpool reject a £150m bid for Mohamed Salah, Jamie Carragher admits the club could be tempted to sell him to Al-Ittihad for £200m

Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher:

“It’s interesting where he is going to fit in because I don’t think he’s necessarily this defensive midfield player that I think Liverpool still need, even though they have brought a player in from Germany.

“I think he’s more of a No 8, he’s box-to-box, he gets forward – and I think that’s why Bayern got rid of him, because Thomas Tuchel didn’t want to play him in that position.

“He’s a player Jurgen Klopp and the club wanted 12-18 months ago and I’m interested to see where he fits in and if Klopp thinks he’s going to be that defensive midfield player.

“He’s young, has good pedigree – having played for Ajax and Bayern – and, to be fair, the fee is not that expensive.”

Klopp: I love this team – we’ve done good business

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp refuses to confirm a deal for Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch and admits he doesn’t know of any new offers for forward Mohamed Salah

Speaking before the deal was announced at Friday morning’s press conference ahead of Sunday’s home encounter with Aston Villa, manager Jurgen Klopp said: “We pretty much had to reinvent the team. The midfield is all ready and will be completely new.

“We had to do that in a season where we didn’t qualify for the Champions League, which has a massive impact. I know people expect it to be different but it is how it is. I really think we did good business, the players we brought in are really good, will help the team.

“We are less experienced but that is normal, but we are full of desire and I love this team.”

Mac Allister, who was initially asked to play an unfamiliar holding role, and Szoboszlai have both settled in quickly, which was to be expected as they had a full pre-season to adapt to Klopp’s methods.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool’s win against Newcastle in the Premier League

The manager expects them to make bigger strikes, although he conceded Endo will take longer after only arriving from Stuttgart mid-August, but believes they have the capability to match the successes of the players they have replaced.

“The natural skill-set is obvious but we had to replace the most successful midfield in the young (recent) history of this club,” added Klopp ahead of Sunday’s visit of Aston Villa.

“Fabinho, Henderson, Milner, Gini Wijnaldum a few years ago. All had big parts in the team. Naby (Keita), (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain, they all played big parts in that midfield.

“In our best periods I remember you asked me the question if we had enough of a goal threat from this midfield when we scored all the goals from the front line.

“I think we have much more goal threat in midfield now but the work-rate these guys put in, the stability they gave us was second-to-none and that is what we have to create as well.

“We will see how we do that because we can play different systems, we have to think about that during the season definitely.

“But I think it is clear the players we brought in have real quality, are young and in a super way really excited about the opportunity of being here, so that’s a cool mix.”

‘Gravenberch’s potential is huge’


European football expert Andy Brassell speaking to Sky Sports News:

“It is a good bit of business. The potential there is huge – and Liverpool need the numbers if you look at the amount of midfielders Liverpool lost this summer.

“There is now real potential in the midfield three of Wataru Endo, Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister, but it cannot sustain them for 60 games this season, they need more.

“Gravenberch does not expect to start every game, but he expects an opportunity – which he didn’t get at Bayern Munich.

“There were successive coaches in Julian Nagelsmann – as he was the club’s signing not the coaches’ signing – and Thomas Tuchel who haven’t warmed to him.”

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