A lot comes with the label "the next big thing to come out of Ajax's Academy", particularly if you see the likes of De Ligt and Frankie De Jong who have both moved on to Barcelona and Juventus. However, Ryan Gravenberch is seen as one of the brightest young players in Amsterdam and the youngster has already been making an impression in the Eredivisie.
Gravenberch, endowed with number 38, has been playing in Ajax's youth academy since 2010. The 17-year-old midfielder, who is comfortable playing anywhere across the field, signed his first pro contract in June 2018 when he forced his way into Ajax's first team squad. Being rewarded the "Abdelhak Nouri Trophy", given to the best young player at Ajax, has provided evidence that Gravenberch is to be an important player for the club for years to come.
Gravenberch became the youngest player in Eredivisie when he made his debut in 2018, aged just 16 years and 130 days, taking the record from legend Clarence Seedorf with his first start.
Gravenberch has appeared for the Netherlands' under-16, under-17 and under-19 sides and is expected to be a member of the Dutch first-team squad in the years to come.
The player's preferred position is operating from the centre of midfield, and he is comfortable in both an attacking role or a defensive one. He has also been known to play at right-back. It is definitely Gravenberch's versatility that makes him such a coveted young asset for many clubs to acquire.
Gravenberch is strong in the tackle, has an excellent range of passing and is powerful in the air and on the ground. He uses his physical strength to win the ball from rival players and can move the ball forward quickly to mount counter attacks from the base of midfield.
It is rumoured that Real Madrid and Premier League side Liverpool have been scouting Gravenberch already. Ajax in recent history have sold their best young players and it is not completely out of the question that the Amsterdam side could be receiving a bumper deal if they let the midfielder depart for pastures new.
Potential Ability: 48/50
Current Ability: 36/50