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The Old Trafford side were keen on reuniting Ten Hag and the youngster not long after he had taken the United job, but he ended up moving to Bayern for a bargain fee of £21m.
The Dutchman is keen on adding Bellingham to his star-studded squad during the summer, however, with a £130m price tag and plenty of competition for his signature, Gravenberch might be the best alternative.
Ten Hag is extremely familiar with the 20-year-old, handing him his debut at Ajax back in 2018 and he made a total of 103 appearances for the club, becoming one of the most sought-after talents in the Eredivisie.
Indeed, last season, Gravenberch was superb, averaging a Sofascore rating of 7.17 as he scored twice and grabbed five assists as Ajax won the league title by just two points ahead of PSV Eindhoven.
His creative talents were evident from the centre of the pitch as he created six big chances, made 1.1 key passes, and took 66.5 touches per match and his performances led to Bayern eventually landing the youngster.
It hasn’t been plain sailing in Munich this term however, with the midfielder making just ten Bundesliga appearances, totalling 177 minutes as he has struggled to break through and gain regular game time and this could lead to Ten Hag sensing an opportunity to lure him to Old Trafford.
His underwhelming spell in Germany shouldn’t deter United from making a move, with Gravenberch ranking in the top 15% compared to positional peers across Europe’s top five leagues with regards to total shots, shot-creating actions, touches in the attacking penalty area and progressive passes received per 90.
Journalist Marcel van der Kraan has lauded Gravenberch previously, saying: “This is maybe why he stood out so early and why Ajax picked him, with his great skills and technique, and brought him to the academy. They could easily put him three or four years above his own age. That’s when people started to find out this kid was only 12. They thought he is going to be a world-beater.”
The £155k-per-week sensation could continue his development at United and forget about his spell in the Bundesliga, reuniting with Ten Hag in the process.
Bellingham may be the ideal option for the Old Trafford faithful, but Gravenberch could be the dream alternative, and for a fraction of the price too.