Bayern want Dutch star Ryan Gravenberch
According to reports from Germany and The Netherlands, Bayern Munich want to sign Ajax‘s Ryan Gravenberch this summer. Die Rekordmeister want the 19-year-old old whose contract expires in 2023 to replace Corentin Tolisso who is yet to renew his contract with the Bavarian club. Tolisso is into the final five months of his contract with Bayern. However, some say Ryan Gravenberch is the replacement for Thiago Alcantara who left for Liverpool, but that’s another discussion. It is not sure right now whether Tolisso will renew or leave for free. The Frenchman has shown glimpses of his ability across his time in Germany but injuries have halted his development badly. Marcel Sabitzer has not exactly kicked on since his move from RB Leipzig. Bayern want Gravenberch to shore up that weakness that has reared its head in recent weeks with Leon Goretzka injured.
(There were even terrifying reports that Julian Nagelsmann and his coaching staff are exploring the possibility of turning wunderkind Jamal Musiala into a Thiago-like deep-lying playmaker. God no. Just buy a proper central midfielder)
The Dutchman’s qualities
The powers that be at Bundesliga champions Bayern are looking for a player with Thiago’s qualities. A player who can seamlessly link midfield to attack while also helping to build out from the back. Leon Goretzka is a different type of midfielder from Thiago in Bayern’s famed midfield pivot. His strengths lie in his strength, drive, and late runs into the box. He is not a conductor like Thiago, Toni Kroos, or Mateo Kovacic. Bayern Munich have missed that control and midfield nexus since Thiago left. Joshua Kimmich does his best but he has his duties, so they need a specialist.
Young Dutchman Ryan Gravenberch has the ability to link things up. He helps Erik Ten Hag and Ajax connect the midfield to attack with his incisive passing and powerful drive. His 6ft2 frame allows him to win 65% of his aerial duels in the Eredivisie this campaign. He has also won 57% of his ground duels. Ryan makes 5.7 progressive passes per 90 putting him in the 86th percentile for players in his position. He also makes 7.37 progressive carries per 90 (94th percentile) which shows his ability to drive with the ball.
The Jong Ajax graduate makes 2.09 interceptions per game and receives the ball in the opposition box almost three times per game. He also received 4.73 progressive passes per 90 (94th percentile). This shows the team’s trust in him to advance the ball. He has started all but three league games across 22 appearances. He has a terrific long-range shot in his boots too, completing him as a midfielder. He has been a mainstay in their UEFA Champions League side, appearing in all six games so far. The midfielder of Surinamese descent broke through in the 19/20 campaign and has not looked back. He is a top talent and it is no surprise Bayern want him. His 30 million Euros price will also appeal to the very financially stringent Bayern.
Ajax will lose Noussair Mazraoui and André Onana on free transfers this summer. They will need to make some money to balance their very tight books and Gravenberch is one asset they can sell. He is a Dutch international with 10 caps to his name at 19. That says a lot about his talent.
As things stand
Kingsley Coman decided to sign a new contract out of the blues and the same could happen with Tolisso. A new contract will be bad for both parties though. Tolisso needs game time to make it into France’s Qatar 2022 squad and Bayern needs a new type of midfielder. The Rekordmeister should focus on extending the contracts of Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski, and Serge Gnabry. A deal for Ryan Gravenberch makes much sense although dealing with his agent Mino Raiola is almost never straightforward. Bayern have already lost Niklas Sule to Borussia Dortmund. They will have to do some transfer business. Bayern want Andreas Christensen to replace Sule.