With Manchester United in need of midfield reinforcements before the close of the transfer window, Ryan Gravenberch and Sofyan Amrabat are two names who appear at the top of the club’s shopping list.
Man United have already offered a contract to Gravenberch, as The Peoples Person reported, while the club is also expected to submit a bid for Amrabat in the coming days after agreeing personal terms with the Moroccan.
Even though both players would appear to meet United’s midfield needs, one of these players emerges as a better fit for the club given the playing style of manager Erik ten Hag.
Throughout last year’s campaign, Fiorentina primarily used Amrabat as a defensive midfielder, starting him in this role in 45 matches in all competitions.
In the 2022/23 Serie A season, Amrabat made an average of 1.3 tackles per game as well as 0.7 interceptions per game.
He also won possession 0.7 times per game. (Stats via Sofascore)
Gravenberch was used in a more advanced role, playing 26 matches in central midfield and appearing in three games as an attacking midfielder.
While the Dutch international’s defensive stats for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga last season may have been lower than Amrabat’s, they were still respectable for an attack-minded midfielder, with the 21-year-old making 0.7 tackles per game and 0.4 interceptions per game.
The one area where he greatly trailed Amrabat was in possession won, with a figure of 0.2 per game. (Sofascore)
Shifting the focus to passing, both of these players proved exemplary.
While Gravenberch achieved a passing accuracy of 89% per game along with 83% in the opposition’s half, Amrabat narrowly outperformed him with an overall passing accuracy of 90% and 85% accuracy in the opposition’s half.
Amrabat made 0.4 key passes per game compared to his Dutch counterpart’s 0.3 key passes per game.
Ultimately, Gravenberch’s frustrating season came with a lack of minutes, as he only started six league games, with the remainder of his appearances coming off the bench.
Both players are capable midfielders who would surely add depth to the United squad, with very little to separate them in an effort to determine the superior player.
The one place where Gravenberch does seem to have an edge, however, is his versatility.
A more attacking-minded player than Amrabat, Gravenberch also shows some defensive ability, meaning that there are more areas on the pitch that he could cover in the United lineup.
Ultimately, Ten Hag would do well to sign any of these two players – the most important thing is that he signs at least one in order to better reinforce the Red Devils’ midfield ahead of a packed season schedule.