Why Liverpool’s new deal for Van den Berg is a sensible move
According to Football Insider (h/t Liverpool Echo), Liverpool are set to offer Sepp van den Berg a new contract, just months after his arrival at the club.
The Reds are planning to offer a new deal to the young defender as a reward for his progress after joining them in the summer, the report added.
Van den Berg had raised a few eyebrows since making his £1.3million move from Dutch outfit PEC Zwolle to Anfield in July earlier this year.
Despite making just two appearances for the senior side, the 17-year-old centre-back is someone on whom the club has high hopes, the Daily Mail claims. Both of his appearances have come in the Carabao Cup this season, against MK Dons and Arsenal.
The first one was a substitute appearance in the match against lower outfit Dons, which they won 2-0, and the second one came against Arsenal, where he started alongside Joe Gomez at the heart of the Liverpool defence, ultimately winning the game on penalties.
With the senior side travelling to Qatar for the Club World Cup, boss Jurgen Klopp would most likely offer the youngster a chance to feature against Aston Villa in the quarterfinals of the Carabao Cup.
At the moment, the youngster is plying his trade with the Reds under-23 side in the Premier League 2 and has made nine appearances overall from all competitions for the youth outfit.
He has also played 4 UEFA Youth League matches until now and would be eager to secure himself a spot in the senior side next season.
With the youngster proving his credentials at the youth level and manager Jurgen Klopp offering the youngster some game time in the cup competitions, the club surely seems to be impressed by the youngsters’ progress.
Hence, the Reds’ decision to offer their Dutch centre-back a new deal seems to be a step in the right direction.
Meanwhile, Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren had expressed his desire to leave Anfield in the summer after falling behind Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez in Klopp’s pecking order.
This could open the doors for the young Dutchman, who would be keen to get some game time with the senior side.
However, things have taken a different turn since the season’s beginning, with Klopp’s preferred first-choice defender Matip ruled out for the foreseeable future due to a knee injury.
His return remains uncertain as of now, and this has given Lovren the chance to once again don the centre-back’s role alongside Van Djik in the Reds backline. But veteran Lovren, who is in his fifth year at Anfield, is already in his thirties and has not looked as sharp as he used to be.
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Joe Gomez, on the other hand, has failed to impress this season and has made just a few appearances this season. With Matip sitting out, Liverpool are left with just three defenders in their squad.
The young van den Berg could be a future replacement for old guard Lovren. Hence, Liverpool’s decision to offer the teenager a new contract seems to be a good one with an eye on the future.