Monday, June 27, 2022

Chelsea Among Clubs Keeping An Eye On Dutch International: A Wise Option For Tuchel?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Fichajes, Chelsea are in the market for Ryan Gravenberch. The young Ajax midfielder has emerged as an option for multiple clubs across Europe thanks to his performances in the Eredivisie. Ajax are believed to be ready to offload Gravenberch next summer and are demanding somewhere around €75 million. The Blues are set to face competition from FC Barcelona as well as London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham for the pursuit of the Dutchman.

Who Is Ryan Gravenberch?

A native of Amsterdam, Ryan Gravenberch has established himself as one of the finest up and coming Dutch talents in recent years. A central midfielder by trade, he had made his professional breakthrough last season, featuring in 32 league matches and helping Ajax secure the Eredivisie title.

The 19-year-old is ideally a hybrid between number six and number eight. He is blessed with immense technical prowess that often becomes useful in Ajax’s approach play. It is why the youngster had stepped in effectively in the Ajax midfield after the exit of Frenkie de Jong.

But Gravenberch is also quite versatile as he can operate in a defensive midfield role and even out wide, if necessary. Not to mention, the youngster can drive forward with the ball if necessary, making him a well-rounded central midfielder.

In addition to that, the former Zeeburgia youth talent brings in significant experience for a player of his age. He has featured in 71 competitive matches for Ajax, with the pedigree of performing not only in Eredivisie but also in Champions League.

Chelsea are in the market for Ryan Gravenberch - One for the future?
ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – APRIL 18: Ryan Gravenberch of Ajax celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the TOTO KNVB Cup final between Ajax and Vitesse at De Kuip on April 18, 2021 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Peter Dejong-Pool/Getty Images)
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Where Does He Fit In At Chelsea?

Chelsea‘s pursuit of  Ryan Gravenberch is hardly surprising as they could require reinforcements in the midfield department. They currently have no shortage of quality options in the middle of the park, including Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic.

However, both Jorginho and Kante are heading into the final phase of their respective careers while Kovacic faces an uncertain future at Stamford Bridge. As such, the potential addition of someone like Gravenberch could add some much-needed youth exuberance to the side.

The young Dutchman’s work ethic and all-round game in the middle of the park could be ideal for Thomas Tuchel’s tactical setup. His technical prowess should also improve the club’s approach play in the final third, potentially offering additional support for the likes of Mason Mount and Kai Havertz.

For the immediate future, Gravenberch can be an ideal alternative for Jorginho in the holding midfield position while providing competition for Kovacic and Kante, ultimately improving the overall depth of the Blues midfield.

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