Pep Lijnders claims Liverpool have 'special player' in Ryan Gravenberch

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has talked up new signing Ryan Gravenberch, after the midfielder's strong start at Anfield.

21-year-old Gravenberch was a £34m deadline day arrival from Bayern Munich, as Liverpool rounded off their summer transfer business by landing the long-term target.

Though they had to wait until the eleventh hour to seal the former Ajax star's arrival, reports revealed that the Reds had been putting in the groundwork on a deal for Gravenberch for some months, having admired the player since he broke through as a wonderkid in the Netherlands.

After a difficult season in which he saw little game time at Bayern, Gravenberch has hit the ground running at Liverpool, scoring two goals and registering two assists in six starts so far.

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Asked about the club's new number 38, ahead of the Carabao Cup last 16 clash with Bournemouth on Wednesday, Lijnders suggested that his fellow Dutchman is confident and back to his best again following the move to Merseyside.

"We see the Ryan of Ajax," Lijnders said.

"That's why the club is so important, a player who doesn't play will never get confident. We know that a player without confidence is not the same. I'm not sure what happened at Bayern, he comes here – with full trust – then we knew with training, good conversations, showing the idea with the clarity of the whole group that we have a special player.

"His vision, his touch, Ryan has everything to be an 'eight' like that, he arrives, shoots and has a mentality to score."

Lijnders also thanked the scouting department for identifying Gravenberch and joked that he personally likes it "when the squad is a bit more orange".

Gravenberch, who started the 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest at the weekend but was substituted during the second half, could well make the lineup again for the Reds trip to Bournemouth on Wednesday night.

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