Football News

Pepijn Lijnders praises ‘complete eight’ Ryan Gravenberch after rediscovering Ajax form

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 18:30, 1 November 2023

Liverpool assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders has praised Ryan Gravenberch for rediscovering his former self during a bright start to life at the club.

The 21-year-old Dutch midfielder ended a frustrating time with Bayern Munich when he completed his deadline-day switch to Anfield for reportedly £34.2m.

Gravenberch, who came through Ajax’s esteemed youth set-up, left the Amsterdammers in 2022 but struggled for playing time at the perennial German champions.

He ultimately made 34 appearances in all competitions with six of those coming from the start. Yet to cement a regular starting berth under Jurgen Klopp, the Amsterdammers nevertheless seized every opportunity, across 10 outings he’s registered two goals and two assists which is two more goal involvement than at Bayern (one goal and one assist).

Lijnders subsequently feels Gravenberch has rekindled the form which first attracted the Bavarians — 12 goals and 13 assists through 103 appearances for Ajax — while his compatriot offers the Reds something different in their midfield.

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“We knew what he is capable of. 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,” he told reporters.

“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. It’s nice he is Dutch as well!”