Liverpool leading race for 18-year-old Dutch midfielder

Ryan Gravenberch’s father has told his son to reject the advances of Liverpool and Chelsea and stick with Ajax for at least another campaign. The Netherlands international is one of the most exciting midfielders on the continent and he has started 29 of Ajax’s 31 Eredivisie games this campaign as they clinched the title.

His displays at the heart of their midfield have earned plaudits around Europe and he is thought to be on the radar of the majority of the European clubs. Ryan’s had 11 goal involvements in 43 matches in all tournaments and, despite just being 18, he’s been tipped to make the step up in one of Europe’s biggest leagues.

But his father believes he should not rush into a move away from Amsterdam and feels Gravenberch would benefit from truly establishing himself as a crucial figure at Ajax before moving on. ‘He has to take that last step at Ajax. He just has to and he hasn’t done that yet,’ Ryan Gravenberch Snr said.

‘I want him to fully mature at Ajax, so as far as I’m concerned he will just stay at Ajax. He has only played one full season now and that was of course quite good, but next season he will have to play even better. Then, despite his age, he really must be one of the key players, especially if he plays in the European Championship with the Netherlands.’

‘Next season, he will not get away with it in the dressing room if he plays poorly several games in a row. I really think he should take a step at Ajax first. He has to climb in the hierarchy and stand up more for himself within the squad.’