Didi Hamann has praised one Liverpool player for quickly becoming ‘an integral part’ of Jurgen Klopp’s side, managing to put ‘a messed-up year’ behind him.
Ryan Gravenberch was the last of the Reds’ four summer signings, joining only a couple of hours before the transfer deadline, and has impressed with his performances so far at Anfield.
He’s already had as many Premier League starts for Jurgen Klopp’s side as he made in the Bundesliga in just over a year at his previous club Bayern Munich (WhoScored), with the 21-year-old keen to make up for lost time.
Speaking to German outlet TZ, Hamann said: “Gravenberch is doing it outstandingly so far. It’s almost unbelievable that he was barely used at Bayern under two managers. People always used to ask me what it was like. I couldn’t say because he never played for Bayern. Now in Liverpool you can see what he can do.
“Gravenberch has a good physical presence, a decent finish and also a certain pace. When you see him at Liverpool you really wonder why he didn’t play a role at Bayern.
“After what had been a messed-up year for him, it was clear that he wanted to make a fresh start. From my point of view, he seems to be a good character. I can’t imagine that he allowed himself to be hanged in Munich. And now he is an integral part of a class team at Liverpool.”
When looking at how Gravenberch has performed so far at Liverpool, it does beg the question as to why he was routinely overlooked by both Julian Nagelsmann and Thomas Tuchel at Bayern.
It wasn’t until the Merseyside derby last month that the Dutchman made his first Premier League start (WhoScored), but he’d just been beginning to nail down a consistent berth until a minor injury ruled him out of the win over Brentford just over the international break.
With almost a full midfield at Klopp’s disposal for the trip to Manchester City today, apart from long-term absentees Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic, the 21-year-old faces greater competition to be included among the starting line-up this afternoon.
Still, at least he’s been getting a fairer crack of the whip for Liverpool than he ever had at Bayern, and if he can keep building upon his displays in his first three months at Anfield, the Allianz Arena hierarchy must surely be questioning the decision to sell him for a modest £34m (The Times).