ReactionWhy Jürgen Klopp is excited by Ryan Gravenberch's transfer to Liverpool
‘An exceptional talent’ is how Jürgen Klopp described Ryan Gravenberch after the midfielder finalised his deadline-day transfer to Liverpool, subject to a work permit.
Netherlands international Gravenberch signed a long-term contract having undergone a medical at the AXA Training Centre and will wear the No.38 shirt for the Reds.
And, as the 21-year-old’s move from Bayern Munich was completed, Liverpoolfc.com asked Klopp for his reaction to the news.
See our interview with the boss below…
Jürgen, Ryan Gravenberch is here – can you give us your reaction and happiness that he’s joining Liverpool?
Really happy to bring him in because he’s an exceptional talent. Everybody knows that. He is 21, played over 100 games for Ajax already. Had a, I wouldn’t even say difficult season at Bayern because in that age group it’s completely normal; you go into a world-class team and he had his minutes and stuff like this. But how Thomas Tuchel said today in the press conference in Munich I think, the position he is best at, they don’t really have in their system. We have that – that’s good. We have a lot of games to play. We will see how long he needs now because I don’t know, we need to have a look at that. He had a full pre-season, that’s good. The medical was as clear as it can be pretty much, looks really fit. That’s all positive. Unfortunately we have now an international break and cannot work directly together, he is I think with the U21s for Holland. But when he is back we start it. Very excited about it. He is a smart boy. When I talked to him I realised that pretty quickly. And he loves to be here, it’s a good thing as well.
You have had a chance to have a chat today. What were those first impressions like?
Good, really good. He came into my office with his girlfriend, very nice as well. A good couple. Very open. There is everything there what you need. Ryan knows he has to improve things but that’s with 21, it would be crazy if not. But he is super-talented, he can drive the ball, he can be really a box-to-box threat, he is going there. He has a good eye for a pass and a good pass. Really excited. It fits into our squad. I said before, we have a big challenge to reinvent pretty much one of the most successful midfields this club ever had, and I really like it. When I look now at the team, it’s a good football team, honestly. You can buy experienced players but experience you have to make together as a team and we will do that. Everything is good. We signed a really good player and now let’s help him to get the best out of him.
By all accounts you have known him and been interested in him since his Ajax days, have you been tracking him for that long?
Of course. Yeah, of course. We played him, obviously – I think the Ajax game was behind closed doors if I am right, that’s why the memories are not that great for the game. But, Ajax, OK in the moment they have to rebuild their team as well, but the team they had before with him, with [Frenkie] De Jong, with all these boys, that was a really, really good team and playing the way they play is great. But of course, the Premier League is a different league and we will see how long it takes but it is obviously a long-term project but he can help us in the short term as well. That’s good.
Has he arrived too late to be involved in Sunday’s game, so his debut will come after the international break?
Yeah. I got told that it will not happen with the paperwork – I’m pretty sure on deadline day everybody, or the decisive offices, are pretty busy. I didn’t follow it yet, what’s going on there in the world of transfers, but I am pretty sure they are busy so I think that will not happen but we will see. In the moment we don’t even know if he can train tomorrow with us. Today is obviously super-busy, he landed this morning really early so he had to get up really early. It’s a super-intense day and let’s see if he can train tomorrow or not. There is now no need for any kind of rush.