Saturday, February 4, 2023

Liverpool Hoping To Beat Bayern To Signing Of This Defender: What Will He Add To Klopp’s Team?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by the Daily Mirror, Liverpool are hopeful that they can beat Bayern Munich and AFC Ajax in pursuit of PEC Zwolle defender Sepp van den Berg during the summer transfer window. The same source has revealed that the Reds are eager to recruit the Dutch centre-back, who can be considered among the best young defenders coming out of Dutch football.

The Incredible Rise Of Sepp Van Den Berg

The 17-year-old came through the youth ranks of PEC Zwolle before he finally managed to break into their first-team last season. He was an integral member of Zwolle’s Under-17 side back in 2017 before he went on to establish himself at the Under-19 level for the same club. However, it didn’t take long for him to prove his worth at the highest level as he featured in 15 matches in the Eredivisie in the previous campaign. 

On the defensive side, van den Berg made an average of 1.3 tackles, 0.8 interceptions and 2.7 clearances per game in the Dutch top-flight (stats via whoscored). Liverpool have shown in the past that they are keen on recruiting young players and developing them, so Zwolle fits the bill perfectly.

However, the fact remains that at the tender age of 17, van den Berg is still quite raw and is not ready to consistently play at the highest level. Thus, Jurgen Klopp would have to be patient if he wants to see the best out of the Dutch centre-half at Anfield if he wins the race for his signature in this off-season.

What Will The Dutch Starlet Add To Klopp’s Team?

Van den Berg has the potential to be a future star in European football as long as he is willing to work hard to fulfil his ambitions on the pitch. He has decent pace in his locker, which helps him cover a lot of ground and make some crucial interceptions for his team. He is very good at tackling while staying on his feet. However, his sliding challenges can be a bit reckless at times, similar to most other players of his age. 

The Zwolle wonderkid is also physically strong, which enables him to command his own penalty box with authority and conviction. If van den Berg decides to move to Merseyside this summer, then his countryman Virgil Van Dijk could act as an ideal mentor for him.

Is Van Den Berg A Prospect For The Future?

The 17-year-old’s acquisition will bolster Klopp’s defensive options at Anfield in the future, but for now, the German manager can only hope to use the Eredivisie defensive ace as a squad player in the upcoming campaign.

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