A player heavily linked with Liverpool has been called ‘much better than Jude Bellingham’, though he has also been told why he should consider a move to Premier League rivals Tottenham instead.
Liverpool’s pursuit of Borussia Dortmund ace Bellingham came to an end on April 11. It emerged that Liverpool have decided his £120million price tag is too expensive, as it would not leave enough money for the club to bring in another midfielder and improve other areas of the team as well.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have since begun targeting Ryan Gravenberch of Bayern Munich. It has already become a rather complicated transfer pursuit.
Liverpool have held discussions with the player’s camp over a switch to Anfield. And Gravenberch may be open to it after a disappointing first season in Bayern, have joined the German titans from Ajax last summer.
But Thomas Tuchel is a fan of the Dutchman and senior Bayern officials view him as an important player for the future. Due to these factors, Bayern have told Liverpool he is ‘not for sale’.
But Klopp’s need for midfield reinforcements is severe and Liverpool look set to try their luck anyway. They could submit an offer which is above Gravenberch’s valuation to try and tempt Bayern into changing their minds.
Former Tottenham star Rafael van der Vaart has now given his verdict on the Gravenberch situation. During an interview with Ziggo Sport (via Voetbal Primeur), he has sensationally claimed that the 20-year-old is ‘much better than Bellingham’, while also explaining why Gravenberch should have gone to a team like Spurs rather than Bayern last year.
“It’s my opinion [that Gravenberch is better than Bellingham], but I understand that people disagree. I really think so. Only the choice of club makes the difference,” Van Der Vaart said.
Liverpool-linked player ‘better than Bellingham’
“I think he is much better than Bellingham in his talent. Only Bellingham plays every week and Gravenberch does not have that chance to show it.
“[A move to Dortmund] or Tottenham Hotspur [would have been better]. European sub-top [clubs] sounds so negative, I think. Because I still think those clubs are great. You have to have an intermediate step now and then to really show how good you are.
“If you see him walking, upright. He can score, give assists. I think he is much better than he can show at Bayern.”
Van Der Vaart has certainly raised some eyebrows by claiming Gravenberch to be a better player than his Bundesliga rival. Bellingham has established himself as one of Dortmund’s most important stars in the past few seasons, despite being just 19 years of age.
The main reason Van Der Vaart will have come to this conclusion is that during his Ajax days, Gravenberch was up there with Bellingham as one of the best-rated young midfielders in Europe. He has simply not been able to showcase his talent at Bayern yet after struggling to get into Julian Nagelsmann’s first team.
That could change now Tuchel is in charge. Alternatively, Gravenberch may push to link up with Klopp at Liverpool, where he could become the lynchpin for their return to the top level.