Ian Doyle has highlighted one possible dilemma Jurgen Klopp might face if Liverpool complete a move for Ryan Gravenberch.
According to Fabrizio Romano, the Reds are ready to submit a formal bid to Bayern Munich for the Dutch midfielder, who’s keen on making the move to Anfield.
With the player having only turned 21 this year, he’d still qualify as an underage player for Premier League squad rules, but UEFA operate a different set of regulations for their competitions.
In a Q&A for the Liverpool Echo, Doyle was duly asked where Klopp’s side stands in terms of meeting requirements for homegrown players.
The journalist replied: “Our homegrown quota expert Theodore Squires has informed me that Gravenberch would be regarded as an U21 player in the Premier League and thus it wouldn’t be an issue.
“However, he would have to be registered in the Europa League by taking up the final overseas spot. And that would also leave no room for someone like [Ben] Doak. Juggling ahoy, methinks.”
With the squad currently at Klopp’s disposal, Liverpool would fill all 17 non-homegrown slots available to them if Doak is included for the Europa League. Despite the Scot not turning 18 until November, he won’t meet the classification as a club-trained or association-trained player until 2025 (as we explored previously).
The same ruling applies to 21-year-old Gravenberch, so if the Reds are to land the Dutchman before tomorrow night’s deadline, it’d leave the manager needing to cut someone from his European squad.
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The Europa League would seem like the perfect opportunity to give Doak first-team minutes from now until Christmas at least, but with the attack looking like the one position where depth is plentiful, he could find himself the unlucky one to miss out if the Bayern midfielder comes in.
Klopp could also take a chance on omitting an irregular starter like Joel Matip, or a longer-term injury victim such as Thiago Alcantara, depending on the depth available in their respective positions, but the signing of the Dutch midfielder would certainly leave him with a dilemma over his European pick.
That said, it’d be a nice headache to have if Liverpool can get a player of Gravenberch’s quality through the door before the transfer deadline; and if they don’t manage to land the 21-year-old, it’d at least leave the door open for Doak to be included without sacrificing anyone else at Anfield.