Liverpool: Ryan Gravenberch is the dream Keita upgrade

The Bayern midfielder is ‘better than Bellingham’…

Liverpool enter the 22/23 summer transfer market knowing that mistakes cannot be made after a dismal campaign that has left Jurgen Klopp’s outfit away from the Champions League for the first time in seven seasons.

What’s the latest on Ryan Gravenberch to Liverpool?
According to the Daily Mail, the Reds have shifted their emphasis on Bayern Munich starlet after accepting defeat in their lengthy battle to sign Jude Bellingham, who is expected to join Real Madrid this month.

This follows previous murmurings from Italian reports that claim the 21-year-old is indeed of interest to the Reds, who are attracted by signing him for €50m (£43m) amid rival intrigue from Premier League high-fliers Newcastle United.

Despite the midfielder playing a peripheral role since joining the Bavarian giants’ ranks, Liverpool will find an obstacle to overcome in prising him away from the Allianz Arena, with Fabrizio Romano confirming he is very much in Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel’s plans.

How good is Ryan Gravenberch?
Gravenberch made the bold move to Bayern for £20m one year ago after dazzling with Ajax in the Dutch Eredivisie, having played a vital role in gleaning the league title after forging 30 appearances, scoring two goals and supplying five assists, and praised as “dominant” and a “better version of [Paul] Pogba” by his former coach Brian Tevreden.

He might have expected to slot right into prominence at the prestigious Bundesliga outfit but has found his campaign has been anything but auspicious on an individual level, starting

And with Bayern actively pursuing a move for West Ham United’s highly-coveted pivot Declan Rice, Gravenberch might be inclined to make the switch to Anfield, with James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all leaving the Reds this summer and freeing up ample room in the centre.

He could be the perfect replacement for the outgoing Keita, who also plied his trade in Germany before completing a £53m transfer to Merseyside in 2018.

A stylish and enterprising box-to-box midfielder, the Guinean has been riddled with detrimental injury issues and subsequently left Liverpool tarnished by the sheer volume of matches spent confined to the medical department,

The 50-cap international made just 13 appearances across the 22/23 campaign, and Liverpool would indeed find an excellent replacement in Gravenberch, with the Dutchman ranking among the top 7% of positional peers across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for shot-creating actions, the top 24% for progressive passes, the top 18% for successful take-ons and the top 24% for rate of tackles per 90, as per FBref, which illustrates his midfield dynamism.

Hailed as “better than Jude Bellingham” by ex-Tottenham star Rafael van der Vaart, Gravenberch certainly appears to be a tailor-made alternative for the esteemed Englishman, who is viewed as a first-rate operator with devastating attacking intent and diligence in his defensive duties.

With the midfield exodus set to ensue at Anfield, Klopp must complete a swoop for Gravenberch, who is young, but one of football’s most prodigious stars and could not only be an apt replacement for Keita, but expunge the demons lingering around the club’s failure to sign Bellingham.