Ryan Gravenberch passed the hype test with his Champions League stunner
Following the departures of stars such as Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, Hakim Ziyech and Donny van de Beek in recent years, it’s no surprise that Ajax are rebuilding by putting faith in more young prospects.
Looking at Erik ten Hag’s line-up for Ajax’s Champions League group match against Midtjylland, there was David Neres, Lassina Traore and Peter Schuurs starting, with all three being 23 years old or younger.
Ryan Gravenberch, the 18-year-old midfielder who has emerged in the first team, is among the very best of the new crop coming through.
We took a detailed look at everything you need to know about the teenager, but if you’d need to see just one moment that demonstrates his quality then we’ve got you sorted on that front as well.
Not only did Gravenberch’s strike open the scoring against Midtjylland in style, paving the way for Ajax to win 3-1, but it also made him the third-youngest Dutchman to ever score in the Champions League.
18-year-old Ryan Gravenberch's first #UCL goal for Ajax is one to remember!
What a strike 🔥 pic.twitter.com/n8fa6rTAsT
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 25, 2020
The technique involved offers a great indication of why the Netherlands Under-21 international, who was recently called up to the senior squad for the first time, is capable of producing the end product when needed.
Considering the teenager usually plays in central midfield or in a holding role, he remains fairly productive in the final third, recording a goal contribution every 239.5 minutes in the Champions League and Eredivisie this term.
The three points he helped earn in Denmark mean that Ajax are just two points behind Liverpool, while they sit above Atalanta on goal difference.
With the Amsterdammers giving themselves a chance of getting to the knockout rounds, Europe’s major clubs will definitely be excited about having the opportunity to see youngsters from De Toekomst being tested against top opposition.
They will certainly be keeping an eye on Gravenberch, and while there will surely be far more to come, his absolute banger against Midtjylland already offers evidence that he is worth the hype.
Gravenberch is one of those they will be keeping an eye on, and while there will surely be far more to come, his absolute banger against Midtjylland already offers evidence that he is worth the hype.