Why Sander Berge would be a smart long-term investment for Liverpool
Genk sporting director Dimitri De Conde has told Radio Punto Nuovo that Liverpool are interested in Sander Berge. (h/t The Daily Mirror)
The highly-rated Belgian, 21, impressed Jurgen Klopp in their two Champions League group stage games against Liverpool last month. The young midfielder is in his second year at the Luminus Arena and has appeared in every one of the club’s matches this season, starting 19 of 20.
His impressive performances have also caught the attention of Napoli, as the 21-year-old could be available for a fee of around £18million. (h/t The Daily Mirror) With Sander Berge performing well for Genk, Liverpool must not hesitate to splash the cash to sign him in January.
If there’s one area that Liverpool are blessed with options, it’s the midfield. Jurgen Klopp has an array of options in the middle of the park. So, one would certainly think how Sander Berge would get into Klopp’s starting XI?
Truly, it’ll be a challenge initially for Berge to start games regularly for the Reds but given his age, he could be a long-term replacement for either Henderson or Milner.
Henderson has played as a central midfielder and in a deeper role, while Milner has operated in various roles as per Klopp’s instructions. With Milner in the twilight of his career, a move for Berge could be a step in the right direction for Liverpool to bolster their midfield.
Berge started his career at Asker, a third-tier club in his native Norway before he moved to Valerenga, featuring in the Eliteserien. However, he burst onto the scene only after he joined Genk in 2017 and gradually delivered some solid performances to inspire the Belgian outfit to win the Jupiler Pro League last season.
The Norwegian continues to impress both domestically and in Europe, and thrived during Genk’s recent 2-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in the UEFA Champions League. The ability to dictate possession from deep and break up the opposition attacks would make Berge a valuable addition for the Reds.
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At 6ft 5in, he is a powerful presence in the middle of the park, acting mainly as a ball-winner but also capable of driving forward with the ball at his feet. As per WhoScored.com, Berge has registered 1 tackle, 1.3 interceptions, 2.3 clearances and 0.8 blocks per game in the Champions League. When it comes to passing, the former Valerenga man has averaged an 81.4% success rate.
At 21, Berge is very young but he is mature and has decent European experience in his locker. All in all, he may just be Milner’s long-term successor.