Arsenal are reportedly monitoring Bayern Munich star Ryan Gravenberch.
What’s the latest on Arsenal’s Gravenberch interest?
As per journalist Florian Plettenberg, the Gunners are monitoring the 20-year-old midfielder and his situation at Bayern, yet there have not been any negotiations as of yet.
The situation reportedly lies with Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel, as he decides what to do with his newly-inherited squad.
The former Ajax starlet would be in contention for a place in the north London side’s starting XI, but would face competition from Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard.
“News Gravenberch: @Arsenal is monitoring him and his situation at Bayern! But no negotiations yet. Lot of competition with Ødegaard, Xhaka, Partey, Jorginho … but nevertheless: He could get more playing time there. Now all depends on Tuchel,” the reliable German said.
How would Gravenberch fit into the Gunners?
The 6 foot 3 titan is compared to both Alexis Mac Allister and Jude Bellingham by FBref, yet he would be more likely to fill Xhaka’s midfield role at the Emirates.
This season, the Switzerland international has been bombing forward to join the attack spearheaded by Gabriel Jesus, whereas he played a more reserved role in previous seasons and under previous management.
This advancement of the role that Xhaka has been playing would suit Gravenberch perfectly.
Despite having only made one starting appearance from 17 matches played this season, the Netherlands international, praised by Julian Nagelsmann for being “better than most footballers his age”, sits within the top 6 % for non-penalty expected goals and the top 9% for shot-creating actions amongst his positional peers per 90, as per FBref.
The small sample size of minutes means that the statistics are less reliable than if the £48m-rated dynamo had started the majority of matches for the Bundesliga side, but this shows a solid foundation that the player has that Mikel Arteta would be keen to build on.
When compared to Xhaka this season, their passing numbers are remarkably similar. The Bayern Munich midfielder has completed 85.8% of his passes with a total distance of 713 yards per 90 minutes, whereas the 30-year-old Gunners ace has completed 84.4% with a total distance of 713.2 yards, via FBref.
This shows that if Gravenberch makes the move to the Emirates, he may have the characteristics to be deployed in the same role as Xhaka is now.
While he may not be a complete upgrade as of yet, the 20-year-old has the potential to join Arteta’s youthful ranks and grow with the squad in a way similar to Gabriel Martinelli, despite the latter joining under Unai Emery’s reign in charge.
The young Dutchman is also thought to be “a better version of Pogba in his best days at Juventus, in terms of his technique and his presence on the pitch,” according to his former youth boss Brian Tevreden, which certainly bodes well for his chances of adapting to the Premier League.
It would be a move that would bolster the Arsenal midfield for their increased matches due to their impending Champions League matches for the coming season, while also giving Gravenberch more match time than he currently is getting.