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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Liverpool youngster opens up on his future after Schalke loan

Liverpool have overcome their 2020-21 defensive crisis and are currently at the heart of the backline alongside Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Ibrahima Konat and Joe Gomez . Nathaniel Phillips was also retained beyond the summer transfer window due to Knut’s injury concerns, but the club has decided to go on loan for Van den Berg, who had excelled in Preston North last season.

Despite talks with Burnley, the Dutchman has decided not to return to the Championship. Schalke’s offer is hard to turn down, as he is now performing weekly with Maya Yoshida.

“Honestly, I knew in pre-season that I was going to be out on loan. Of course the chances of playing at Liverpool were slim. It’s nice that I’ve played four more games on the bench in the Premier League this season. You learn the most when you play.

van den Berg told ELF Waterbar (as quoted Lanci Live). He also highlighted the experience and physical growth gained during his tenure with Lilywhites, with the youngster now desperate for a chance in the Bundesliga.

The 20-year-old Netherlands youth international progressed through the academy ranks at CSV ’28 and PEC Zwolle before breaking into the latter’s senior squad at the age of 16. He went on to make 23 appearances at the Eredivisie before taking his deal to Liverpool for a fee of around £1.3m (which could rise to £4.4m if all add-ons and terms are triggered).

Sepp Vandenberg

Despite four cup appearances, the Dutch prodigy has mostly featured for the Reds’ reserves. But the Lancashire side’s approach proved crucial to his senior career. There, he played regularly in the defensive third and also showed his versatility as a right-back, full-back and right-centre back in Preston’s three-man defence.

Does he have a future at Liverpool?

Having said that, securing a first-team role for Merseysiders will not be easy. Matip and Konat should be rotated alongside Van Dijk, while Gomez is expected to remain as the fourth centre-back in addition to being a backup to Trent Alexander-Arnold. Jurgen Klopp may be banking on him as a sporadic option, especially with Phillips’ future hanging in the balance.

The Englishman is 25 years old but has only played 65 games so far. He’ll need to move on through regular game time, and the gaffer must also evaluate Reece Williams, who has been solid late in the 2020-21 season. Williams joined Blackpool on a season-long loan and it remains to be seen who will impress the most between the two budding talents.

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