Last season, the midfielders suffered across the board, and the Gegenpress, one of Liverpool’s most distinctive features, did not work. One of the reasons for this was the aging of the midfielders. And a generational change had been in the works since last year.
In the transfer market last summer, the club made an attempt to acquire French midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, but lost the battle with Real Madrid.
There was also interest in England midfielder Jude Bellingham, who had played for Borussia Dortmund, but the sale was no longer on the table due to the departure of Erling Haaland.
As a result, the lack of proper reinforcements led to last season’s poor performance. Liverpool made a serious effort to revamp their midfield this summer, bringing in four new players and replacing their midfield lineup in one fell swoop.
Rory Smith, the New York Times soccer correspondent, mentioned Dutch U-21 midfielder Ryan Gravenberch, who was acquired at the end of the transfer deadline, and reported that Liverpool valued him as a midfielder to stand alongside Bellingham and Tchouaméni.
“I think at Ajax, he was fantastic. He looked like the next one off the conveyor belt. I think he was Frenkie de Jong’s direct replacement.”
“He was the player that they’d earmarked to replace De Jong two or three years before he left [for Barcelona]. They said ‘Look, we’re going to have to shift De Jong out so we can get Gravenberch in’.”
“He has the talent; he was one of three players I think Liverpool had identified as potential generational-defining midfielders along with [Jude] Bellingham and [Aurelien] Tchouameni, which isn’t bad company to keep.”The Monday Night Club