If I blurted out the name, Sepp van den Berg, how many of you would blink in confusion until the penny dropped about the Liverpool youngster?
‘van den Berg? That Dutch lad we bought a few years ago?’ you might ask.
It’s been roughly 18 months since we signed the highly-rated 19-year-old from PEC Zwolle, with other elite European sides reportedly circling over the Eredivisie prospect.
Arriving with much fanfare, the centre-back was tipped to feature interchangeably for the Reds’ first-team, though ended up amassing only four appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in his debut season, all of them coming in the domestic cups.
Since then, the Dutchman hasn’t had any luck breaking into the first-XI, and, according to recent reports, is facing a loan move to one of a range of European clubs.
At 19 years of age, it would be rash to say that the youngster’s Anfield career is over; certainly, as Harvey Elliott has demonstrated, loan experience can be pivotal for development.
That being said, from the outside, the situation doesn’t look incredibly promising, with the likes of Nathaniel Phillips, Rhys Williams and Billy Koumetio all apparently ahead in the pecking order.
Van den Berg could certainly refuse a move and attempt to work his way up the ranks, but it’s not a good sign that he’s been overlooked for the cup competitions this season.
It’s a regression, and one that can only really be addressed by first-team football, which the defender probably won’t get anytime soon with the Reds.
Though we can’t currently see a way in for the Liverpool man, a lot can change in a few months with the right opportunity, which we hope the Dutchman will seize with both hands if a loan move materialises for him this January.
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