Liverpool’s new £35m star Ryan Gravenberch decides NOT to join up with Dutch U21s this week – as he chooses to stay on Merseyside and ‘focus on his new club’ instead

Liverpool’s new £35m star Ryan Gravenberch decides NOT to join up with Dutch U21s this week – as he chooses to stay on Merseyside and ‘focus on his new club’ instead

  • Ryan Gravenberch completed his £35m transfer to Liverpool on deadline day 
  • The Dutch midfielder struggled to settle at Bayern Munich after joining in 2022
  • He decided not to join up with the Dutch Under 21 side for the international break

New Liverpool signing Ryan Gravenberch will not head on international duty this week and instead stay on Merseyside to ‘focus on his new club’.

The midfielder – who joined the Reds on deadline day from Bayern Munich for £35m – had been called up to Netherlands’ Under 21 squad for their fixtures against Moldova and North Macedonia over the coming days.

However, Gravenberch communicated to the Dutch FA that he wanted to prioritise adapting to his new club during the Premier League’s two-week hiatus and therefore made himself unavailable for selection.

Michael Reiziger’s side are due to start a new European Championship qualification cycle during the international break after they crashed out in the group stage at Euro 2023 during the summer.

Gravenberch was perhaps a surprise inclusion in his squad given he already has 11 senior caps to his name, although he failed to be picked for the World Cup, while he also played the full game in all three of the Under 21s’ games at the Euros.

New Liverpool signing Ryan Gravenberch won’t head on international duty this week, with the Netherlands Under 21 midfielder choosing to remain on Merseyside to focus on his new club

The 21-year-old moved to Anfield after only a year with Bayern, who he joined from Ajax for £21m last summer.

However, he struggled for gametime and only made six starts in all competitions during 2022-23 and was far down the midfield pecking order with Thomas Tuchel’s side.

He will wear the No 38 shirt at Liverpool and was spotted watching on at Anfield during Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Aston Villa.

After his move was confirmed on deadline day, Gravenberch – who has also won 11 caps for the Dutch Under 21 side – outlined his excitement at his new challenge.

‘I’m very happy. Very happy that the deal is done and I’m finally here,’ the player told Liverpool’s official website.

‘If you see it from the outside, it’s one of the biggest clubs in the world. Also the fans, the stadium, I think everything from the outside is top. So that’s why [it was the right club].’

Klopp regarded Gravenberch as the perfect final addition to an extensive midfield rebuild this summer, following a number of high-profile exits including captain Jordan Henderson and Fabinho. 

The Dutchman was the fourth midfielder Klopp signed, with Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Wataru Endo all arriving earlier in the summer.

The former Ajax man had also been attracting interest from Man Utd and his former head coach Erik ten Hag.

Gravenberch is viewed as a multi-functional midfielder who offers tactical flexibility due to his ability to play in both the No 8 and No 6 roles. He is a product of the Ajax academy, making 103 appearances for the club in all competitions and scoring 12 goals before his move to Bayern in 2022. 

Gravenberch missed training with Bayern on Thursday and boss Thomas Tuchel later confirmed he was set to join Liverpool, with the player arriving in England on Friday for a medical. 

There had been doubts over whether the Bavarian side would be willing to part with the player after a deal for Joao Palhinha from Fulham fell through, but Gravenberch was allowed to join the Premier League outfit. 

‘He wasn’t happy with his situation here as he sees the chance in Liverpool to fight for a place in a 4-3-3,’ Tuchel said on Friday. 

‘He’s wanted to go for a while. An offer came in, we discussed it. The outcome is clear.’

Gravenberch is likely to make his debut following the international break when Liverpool travel to Wolves on Saturday September 16.