19-year-old with Liverpool ‘dream’ is ‘edging closer’ to summer agreement

Liverpool are ‘edging closer’ to an agreement with Preston North End to send Sepp van den Berg out on loan again next season after disclosing his dream of playing for the Reds.

In May, van den Berg said: “When I joined (Liverpool), it was a big, big step for me! I came from Holland when I was only 17. It was a really big step but I’ve really enjoyed every moment I’ve been here.

“It’s my dream to play for Liverpool. That is all I think about in the long term, there is nothing else I think about.”

While he will undoubtedly be disappointed to not be able to get right to playing for the Liverpool first-team, he will also understand the process and after a successful loan spell with PNE last season, he is set to return there for the 2021/22 campaign.

According to Lancashire Post, a loan move van den Berg is ‘edging closer’ and it’s the next step for the Dutch defender on the road to his dream of playing for Liverpool.

Preston North End's Daniel Iversen saves from Paddy McNair during the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Preston North End at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough on Tuesday 16th March 2021.
Preston North End’s Daniel Iversen saves from Paddy McNair during the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Preston North End at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough on Tuesday 16th March 2021. (Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Reds are committed to giving their Academy players a realistic pathway to the first team and while signing Ibrahima Konate will present a major blockade to van den Berg’s Liverpool dream, it’s not the end of the road.

Curtis Jones has made himself a regular at Anfield despite competing with the likes of Naby Keita, Gini Wijnaldum and Thiago and Trent Alexander-Arnold essentially ended Nathaniel Clyne’s Liverpool career with his brilliance.

I haven’t seen enough quality from van den Berg to suggest that he could force his way in past Joe Gomez or Konate but he’s still only 19 so there is more than enough time for him to develop and grow into a player that can challenge for a starting berth.

Konate is 22 and Gomez is 24 which gives the young Dutchman at least three years before he should realistically be challenging for a significant role at the club. Nathaniel Phillips is 24 and he’s only just made his way into the side.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – MAY 23: Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams of Liverpool applauds the fans after the Premier League match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield on May 23, 2021 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Van den Berg needs to use the next year to bulk up as one of his weaknesses, and you often see this with technically gifted players, is that he is a bit too soft.

The Championship will teach him to use his body more effectively but for the time being, he isn’t at the level required to be a feature for a club like Liverpool.

Rhys Williams is a good example of how a lack of physicality can be exploited by the likes of Chris Wood, with the Burnley man bullying the 20-year-old this season.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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