Is Ryan Gravenberch turning a corner as the season winds down?

The Dutch midfielder has been quietly playing quite well.
West Ham United v Liverpool FC - Premier League
West Ham United v Liverpool FC - Premier League / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

It has been a miserable few weeks as Liverpool have seen their once magical season ending in ruin and catastrophe.

Where there were once talks of an unprecedented quadruple, it looks like Liverpool will now be lucky they secured a trophy when they were still in fine form.

However, while the overall outlook for the team has not been great, as key players have gone missing as has seemingly the mentality that we've come to know and love the past decade, there are still some silver linings if you look hard enough.

There are some players like Andy Robertson and Cody Gakpo that have been playing much better and with the confidence we've come to expect.

Another name that has gone even more under the radar might be Ryan Gravenberch. The 21-year old midfielder has had a very stop-start first season at Liverpool. Whether it has been because of injury, the form of the other midfielders, or is own lack of form, Gravenberch has not yet carved out a defined role for himself.

He's made 34 appearances across all competitions this season with 20 of those being starts. That means almost half of his work has come off the bench, which is a hard balance to find.

He played well enough to earn a start in the League Cup Final earlier this season before Moises Caicedo's tackle cruelly ended his night before it even truly began.

Ryan Gravenberch
Chelsea v Liverpool - Carabao Cup Final / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

He would not have liked his first experience of silverware with the club to come with him in a walking boot during the celebrations.

However, since then, he has battled through another rehab and has seemingly come out the other side a stronger player for it. As we've seen fellow 2023 summer arrival Dominik Szoboszlai wilt during this stretch, it has opened a door that Gravenberch is trying to push open.

During Sunday's win over Fulham, one of the few bright days during this run, he was one of the most influential players on the field in addition to his thunderbolt goal being the winner.

He was involved throughout the midfield and attack as we began seeing flashes of the brilliance that made him such a hot commodity to begin with.

Per Sofascore, his average match rating for the month of April is 7.3, his highest since October. That is a true definition of ending on a high note. Following his Fulham performance, he was oddly left out of the Starting XI for the midweek clash with Everton.

We all know the disaster that was and while Gravenberch playing might not have fixed everything, it was clear he was missed.

Gravenberch was restored to the starting lineup on Saturday for the draw away to West Ham. While it was another overall disappointing result for the club, he played very well once again. He was given a 7.8 match rating.

While 6 total goal contributions from 34 games is not a very healthy return, he has been in the ascendancy in the last week.

It appears he should be a starter for the rest of the season alongside Alexis Mac Allister and Wataru Endo, barring injury.

When they are both clicking, Mac Allister and Gravenberch can be one of the most creative midfield pairs in England. We deserve to see them get a proper run together to build some momentum going into the Arne Slot era.

Speaking of the Dutch coach, he must really enjoy seeing his countryman playing so well just upon his expected arrival.

Slot has a strong history of player development in his own right, so he could see this Gravenberch purple patch as a sign there is still plenty of talent in there to be unlocked.

If recent results are anything to go by, this could just be the beginning of Liverpool seeing the "real" Ryan Gravenberch.