FeatureRyan Gravenberch and Liverpool's dozen Dutchmen
Ryan Gravenberch will become the 12th Netherlands-born player to represent Liverpool's men's team.
The midfielder has sealed a move to the Reds after a season with Bayern Munich that followed his emergence and success with AFC Ajax in his home country.
By joining the club, 21-year-old Gravenberch is set to emulate 11 of his compatriots who have previously worn – or currently wear – the LFC jersey.
Read on for more details on Liverpool’s Dutch links to date…
Both the first and second men from the Netherlands to play for the Reds arrived in the same summer: in 1999 under Gerard Houllier, to be precise.
They were striker Erik Meijer and goalkeeper Sander Westerveld, and while the former’s stay on Merseyside lasted just 18 months, the latter was part of one of the great Liverpool campaigns in 2000-01.
Westerveld made a massive 61 appearances between the posts that season as Houllier’s men lifted the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup while also securing Champions League qualification via their league position.
The stopper finished his Anfield career in December 2001 having pulled on the shirt 103 times overall.
Attacking midfielder Bolo Zenden was next and he made 47 appearances during a two-season spell under Rafael Benitez that concluded with a start in the 2007 Champions League final.
Right-back Jan Kromkamp had arrived from Villarreal in January 2006 and lifted the FA Cup before departing 18 games and eight months later.
It would prove to be a much longer stay for the next Dutchman through the Liverpool doors. Dirk Kuyt cemented his status as a lasting fan favourite following his switch from Feyenoord in August 2006.
The hard-working forward made 285 appearances, scored 71 goals – many of them hugely important – and earned a League Cup winner’s medal during his six years here.
Kuyt was joined by Ryan Babel at Anfield in 2007 and the attacker would go on to net 22 times in 146 matches before bidding farewell in early 2011.
After a period without a Netherlands influence in the Reds squad, Georginio Wijnaldum came in from Newcastle United in the summer of 2016.
A tireless presence in the middle of the pitch under Jürgen Klopp, ‘Gini’ was integral to successes in the Champions League and Premier League, saying an emotional farewell in 2021 after five seasons and 237 appearances.
In between times, Virgil van Dijk had brought his colossal skillset to the club in January 2018 as he completed a switch from Southampton.
His impact was instant and the No.4 was a transformative figure during the journey that saw Klopp’s men conquer Europe and the world before also clinching the league title, among seven trophies since his arrival.
Now captain of both Liverpool and his country, the centre-back has played more than 200 games for the club so far and chipped in with 19 goals.
Young defenders Ki-Jana Hoever and Sepp van den Berg made the same move to Merseyside subsequently. The former played four senior matches before joining Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2020, and the latter is still at the club and currently on loan at FSV Mainz 05.
Soon after impressing for the Netherlands at the 2022 World Cup, Cody Gakpo bolstered the Reds’ attacking ranks by agreeing a move from PSV Eindhoven.
The versatile forward, who has also been deployed in midfield, netted seven goals during his first half-season with the club – swiftly endearing himself to supporters with efforts against Everton and Manchester United.
And now Gravenberch is set to make it a Dutch dozen for the Reds.