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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Gravenberch can give Erik ten Hag something he’s always wanted at Man Utd

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Manchester United have been linked with moves for Ryan Gravenberch and Sofyan Amrabat this summer after the club’s early issues in midfield. The calls for Erik ten Hag to bolster his options first began after the Reds escaped with a win over Wolves in their opening game. The calls became louder after the 2-0 defeat at Spurs on Saturday. The Reds signed Mason Mount from Chelsea earlier this summer but the England international has, so far, been unable to strike a defensive balance with Casemiro. United are known to hold an interest in both Bayern Munich’s Gravenberch and Sofyan Amrabat of Fiorentina and it appears increasingly likely the club could dip back into the transfer market. Youngster Kobbie Mainoo could become Casemiro’s deputy but he is out injured. Any new recruit would need to offer a creative spark in midfield while being diligent in their defensive duties. READ: Manchester United considering late move for Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch Ten Hag previously worked with Gravenberch at Ajax and the Netherlands international joined Bayern Munich last summer. He endured a frustrating first season in Germany, making just six league starts. But at 21 years old his potential is clear. Despite the majority of his 24 league appearances coming from the bench last term, Gravenberch showed a real attacking edge to his game. He averaged a mightily impressive 3.91 shot-creating actions per 90, Amrabat is a different type of operator. He possesses an enviable range of passing, with his combined number of 38.37 successful medium and long passes per 90 dwarfing the 21.1 of Gravenberch, though the Bayern Munich man did average 8.1 short passes and 0.92 key passes more than his Fiorentina counterpart. In terms of their defensive attributes, Gravenberch made more successful tackles and interceptions per 90 than Amrabat last season (2.66 to 2.03), despite playing in a more attack-minded position, while he also averaged a higher number of blocks and clearances than the Morocco captain. That shows the all-round ability the Dutchman offers, making him potentially more of a valuable option for United. Both players enjoy being on the ball and recorded a similar number of carries and neither give up possession cheaply. United boss Ten Hag has worked with both players before, having coached Amrabat during his time at Utrecht. When discussing Gravenberch during his time as Ajax manager in April 2022, the United boss said: “Despite his young age, he has already experienced a lot and, above all, won titles. “He’s very important for our team because he’s a box-to-box player. He accelerates out of the positional play, does good dribbling, has enormous passing accuracy and takes part in the build-up of the game. Due to his athleticism and physique, he is also strong in the transition game and can also win the balls.” Amrabat’s qualities can’t be denied, though the stats suggest Gravenberch is more of an all-round type of player. Ten Hag has always insisted he wants his players to be flexible, with the likes of Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford already playing in multiple positions for the Dutchman, and Gravenberch would seemingly be able to fill a number of roles in midfield when needed. A move for Amrabat wouldn’t be bad business at all, but Gravenberch could be the midfield Swiss Army knife Ten Hag is looking for.Story SavedYou can find this story in  My Bookmarks.Or by navigating to the user icon in the top right.

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