Manchester United wanted Ryan Gravenberch as a Frenkie de Jong alternative
Collectively, United are just not performing that well. Erik ten Hag‘s insistence on Frenkie De Jong during his first summer at Old Trafford can be attributed to all of these factors. Although Gravenberch can play at number six, his style seems to be that of a box-to-box midfielder and that is what we need at the moment. There is no doubt that his involvement alongside Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen could have threatened a number of top teams in Europe.
‘McFred’ had been the centre of attention for the midfield for several seasons before, thus United’s supporters felt certain that their midfield problems were a thing of the past. However, we might have also realised that this summer our midfield needed a boost of new blood and vitality.
He might have believed that his former Ajax midfield player was special in how he understood the particular midfield role that the coach desired. He went all in on De Jong for that reason, despite all the evidence that he wanted to stay.
Gravenberch is superior to Mason Mount on a number of key defensive metrics, including ball recoveries and successful defensive actions. In addition, he averages 5.12 ball recoveries in the opponent’s half and 4.02 interceptions per 90.
Given that De Jong is at the peak of his career, signing him could have been a huge coup for United. Although enticing him away from Barcelona wasn’t easy as we have witnessed the drama. Notable for his accurate placement and ability to make tackles to retrieve possession, he can play a variety of midfield positions and even fill in at central defence.
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Ten Hag may have desired Gravenberch because he thought the former Bayern was the only player who could match De Jong’s qualities. United made a big mistake by failing to sign any of the two players. We’re hoping that by adding a more adaptable player during the next transfer window, we can recover from this terrible start to the season.