Man United FC

Gravenberch vs Amrabat – stats provide clear winner for Man United transfer dilemma

Erik ten Hag can get what he's always desired from Manchester United thanks to Ryan Gravenberch.

In the final weeks of the transfer window, Manchester United have been linked with Bayern Munich’s Ryan Gravenberch and Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat.

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Following the club’s early midfield troubles, Manchester United has been linked with deals for Ryan Gravenberch and Sofyan Amrabat this summer.

The calls for Erik Ten Hag to bolster his alternatives came after the Reds defeated the Wolves in their first game. The cries grew louder following Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Spurs.

Mason Mount joined the Reds from Chelsea earlier this summer, but the England international has yet to find a defensive balance alongside Casemiro. United is said to be interested in both Bayern Munich’s Gravenberch and Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat, and it appears increasingly probable that the club will return to the transfer market.

Kobbie Mainoo, a youngster, maybe Casemiro’s deputy, but he is injured. Any new midfielder must provide a creative spark while still being rigorous in their defensive duties.

Ten Hag had collaborated with Gravenberch at Ajax before joining Bayern Munich last summer. He had a disappointing debut season in Germany, earning only six league starts. However, at the age of 21, his potential is obvious.

Despite coming off the bench for the majority of his 24 league appearances last season, Gravenberch has a strong aggressive edge to his game. He had a whopping 3.91 shot-creating actions per 90 minutes.

Amrabat is a unique kind of operator. He has an enviable passing range, with his 38.37 successful medium and long passes per 90 dwarfing Gravenberch’s 21.1, however the Bayern Munich midfielder did average 8.1 short passes and 0.92 critical passes more than his Fiorentina opponent.

Gravenberch made more effective tackles and interceptions per 90 than Amrabat last season (2.66 to 2.03), despite playing in a more attack-minded position, and he also averaged more blocks and clearances than the Morocco captain. That demonstrates the Dutchman’s versatility, potentially making him a more valuable alternative for United. Both players like being on the ball and have a similar number of carries. Neither player gives up possession easily.

Ten Hag has already worked with both players, having previously coached Amrabat at Utrecht. “Despite his young age, he has already experienced a lot and, above all, won titles,” the United manager stated of Gravenberch during his time as Ajax manager in April 2022.

“He’s crucial to our team because he’s a box-to-box player.” He accelerates out of positional play, dribbles well, has excellent passing accuracy, and contributes to game development. He is very excellent in the transition game and can win the balls due to his quickness and physique.”

The qualities of Amrabat cannot be questioned, yet statistics indicate that Gravenberch is a better all-around player. Ten Hag has always claimed that he wants his players to be versatile, with the likes of Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford already filling numerous roles for the Dutchman, and Gravenberch would appear to be able to fill a variety of midfield roles when needed.

A move for Amrabat would not be a bad idea, but Gravenberch could be the midfield Swiss Army knife Ten Hag seeks.

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