How Liverpool could line up with Ryan Gravenberch

Liverpool’s shortcomings this season have been attributed to their poor midfield. Whether that boils down to lethargy, a lack of talent or even worse, effort, is up for debate.

90min understands Liverpool are among a series of Premier League clubs – including Manchester United and Arsenal – that are monitoring Ryan Gravenberch’s situation as the opening of the summer window nears.

Days after the reports of interest emerged, pictures of Gravenberch donning a 2019/20 Liverpool number began to re-circulate around the social media sphere, notably on Twitter.

Thiago hasn’t been a reliable figure for Liverpool’s midfield and Stefan Bajcetic’s campaign-ending injury came as a massive blow to the Reds. The rest have found themselves lacking an acceptable run of form or worse off, can no longer match the pace of English top-flight football.

And then there’s Naby Keita, but the less said about him, the better.

Gravenberch has slipped down the pecking order at Bayern Munich, and Konrad Laimer’s upcoming summer transfer from RB Leipzig will not sit well with the 20-year-old, so a move to Anfield may revive his promising career.

But how could Liverpool’s starting XI look with the Dutchman in the Anfield mix? Here are some potential ways he could feature if he completes a move to England.

A standard 4-3-3 formation has been Jurgen Klopp’s go-to Liverpool system and has yielded thriving success with it over the years.

Fabinho is typically deployed as the deepest of the three and will look to continue in that role next season, meaning Gravenberch may be asked to play as one of the more advanced players in the engine room.

Playing alongside a tenacious midfielder able to manage the defensive midfield tasks would see Gravenberch able to unlock his ball carrying ability, or his progressive, line-breaking passing range.

Potential lineups:

Ryan Gravenberch (CM) – Fabinho (CM) – Thiago (CM)

Ryan Graveberch (CM) – Fabinho (CM) – Thiago (CM)

Stefan Bajcetic (CM) – Ryan Gravenberch (CM) – Thiago (CM)

Jordan Henderson (CM) – Ryan Gravenberch (CM) – Thiago (CM)

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Although unlikely, we could see Klopp resort to a 4-2-3-1 to nullify their defensive frailties on show this season, which would feature the former Ajax man in a midfield pairing in order to screen just in front of the defensive line.

In his illustrious years under Erik ten Hag at Ajax, Gravenberch often played on the left of a double pivot, often alongside a more defensively-minded midfielder in Edson Alvarez.

With that in mind, it may be something for Klopp to experiment with Fabinho’s defensive capabilities able to balance out Gravenberch’s tendency to roam.

Potential lineups:

Ryan Gravenberch (DM) – Fabinho (DM)

Ryan Gravenberch (DM) – Thiago (DM)

Ryan Gravenberch (DM) – Stefan Bajcetic (DM)

His towering size gives Gravenberch all the ingredients to stand alone in front of the defence.

Having someone with a creative spark like Thiago is essential to making this setup work as Gravenberch’s deep role would provide the other midfielders with the licence to maraud, feed the attackers and be that incisive decision-maker going forward.

Potential lineups:

Ryan Gravenberch (DM) – Jordan Henderson (CM) – Thiago (CM)

Ryan Gravenberch (DM) – Stefan Bajcetic (CM) – Thiago (CM)

Ryan Gravenberch (DM) – Harvey Elliott (CM) -Thiago (CM)

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