On Sunday morning, Bayern’s sports director Hasan Salihamidzic confirmed what had already become apparent in the past few weeks: Ryan Gravenberch is moving from Ajax Amsterdam to the German record champions this summer.
“We have made a deal and are very, very happy that he is here and can start with us,” Salihamidzic told “Bild” about the midfield jewel. According to consistent media reports, Munich paid a transfer fee of 18.5 million euros for the Dutchman, which can be increased by 5.5 million euros through performance-related bonuses. In addition, Ajax will have a 7.5 percent stake in a possible resale. In Munich, the 20-year-old top talent signs a five-year contract until 2027.
At FC Bayern, Gravenberch sees the potential to mature into one of the best midfielders in Europe in the coming years. The AZ presents the new signing of FC Bayern in more detail:
Ryan Gravenberch was born on May 16, 2002 in Amsterdam. Since his father was born in South America, he has Suriname citizenship in addition to Dutch citizenship. In 2010, at the age of eight, Gravenberch moved from AVV Zeeburgia to the youth academy of Ajax Amsterdam, where his older brother Danzell (born 1994) was already active.
Gravenberch went through all the junior teams there and signed his first professional contract in June 2018. He was also awarded the “Abdelhak Nouri Trophy” in 2018 as the best young Ajax player. The central midfielder thus followed in the footsteps of later world stars such as Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder, Christian Eriksen and Matthijs de Ligt.
Gravenberch made his professional debut against PSV Eindhoven on September 23, 2018. At 16 years and 130 days, he replaced Clarence Seedorf as the youngest debutant in Eredivisie history. The next record followed just a few days later in the national cup. He scored promptly in his first start-up, making him the youngest goalscorer in the club’s history.
After nine appearances in the Eredivisie in the 2019/20 season, he finally made his breakthrough in the following season. Meanwhile, Gravenberch, who currently has a market value of 35 million euros, is absolutely set under Erik ten Hag and is a fixture in the Ajax midfield. He has also been a Dutch senior national team player since 2021.
Gravenberch is considered a modern six. In addition to the header strength of the 1.90 meter tall midfielder, physical robustness and technical finesse are among his strengths. In addition, he is already equipped with a good overview at a young age.
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His style of play and position in central midfield have consistently drawn comparisons to France’s Paul Pogba. “He can go very far. The comparison is not bad. Pogba was very athletic when he was young and was constantly moving between the penalty areas,” said ex-Bundesliga player Marco van Hoogdalem, who is currently the assistant coach of Roda Kerkrade’s U21s, in an interview with “Goal”. “Gravenberch is also incredibly strong and likes to go for goal.”
His former sponsor at Ajax, Brian Tevreden, even went a step further in an interview with “Goal”: “Technically, from my point of view, he is even a better version of Paul Pogba at his wedding at Juventus Turin, Ryan is similarly dominant on the pitch on.”
At his young age, Gravenberch still has potential for development. From time to time carelessness and lack of concentration creep into the youngster’s game. The 20-year-old also has to work on his goal threat (in the current season he has only two goals and six assists in 37 competitive games).
Little is known about Gravenberch’s private life. The Ajax jewel gives little private insight on Instagram (a total of 333,000 followers). It is not officially confirmed whether the 20-year-old has a girlfriend, but Cindy Peroti posted a picture with him from Dubai last August and commented on it with “My heart”.
Gravenberch is basically considered a family man: he wrote under a recording “Family is everything”. At a sporting award, he had his picture taken with his brother Danzell (also a professional soccer player, currently with the second division team De Graafschap) and wrote “Family first” underneath.
Otherwise, the midfielder not only gives gas on the football field, but also goes jet skiing in his free time, as several pictures on his Instagram profile show.
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The original of this article “Bayerns Gravenberch is the “better Pogba”, but he has two weak points” comes from the evening newspaper.