Pep Lijnders has praised midfielder Ryan Gravenberch for his impressive start to life at Anfield following his £35 million switch from Bayern Munich.
Having admired Gravenberch since his breakthrough as a wonderkid in the Netherlands, Liverpool reportedly worked tirelessly over several months to secure the midfielder’s signature. Despite only arriving at the eleventh hour, Gravenberch has seamlessly transitioned into the team, delivering impactful performances.
In his first 11 appearances across all competitions, Gravenberch has scored twice and also provided two assists. Lijnders, speaking ahead of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup clash with Bournemouth, highlighted the midfielder’s resurgence, noting that he now resembles the player who shone at Ajax.
“We see the Ryan of Ajax,” said Lijnders. “That’s why the club is so important, a player who doesn’t play will never get confident. We know that a player without confidence is not the same. I’m not sure what happened at Bayern, he comes here – with full trust – then we knew with training, good conversations, showing the idea with the clarity of the whole group that we have a special player.”
Lijnders emphasised Gravenberch’s all-round abilities, describing him as having “vision, touch, and a mentality to score,” positioning him as an impactful number eight.
Gravenberch’s arrival was part of Liverpool’s midfield overhaul, which has seen more attacking threat in the centre of the park from Jurgen Klopp’s side. Lijnders clarified that this transformation wasn’t necessarily part of a preconceived plan but rather a response to the unique qualities each player brings.
“You cannot get a new Fabinho, you cannot get a new Roberto Firmino, a new Henderson – they are unique! As staff, you have to see what the qualities are. Take Ryan, for example; we create spaces and dynamics for his qualities to shine and always so that they can make the difference.”