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Opinion- Liverpool could be sitting on a goldmine as they assess centre-back options for the summer

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By Shrishh Attavar

Sepp van den Berg: In-house solution to Liverpool FC’s defensive issues

Sepp van den Berg, the promising talent from the Netherlands, made his debut for Liverpool back in the 2019/20 season after joining from PEC Zwolle. He was one of our two signings after winning the UEFA Champions League in 2019 alongside Adrian. Initially featuring in cup competitions, he soon embarked on loan to Preston midway through the following season, where he gained invaluable senior experience, racking up 66 appearances across two campaigns in the Championship.

Since then, he has taken his game up a notch, venturing into top-flight football in the Bundesliga with Schalke last season and Mainz this season. Despite facing the possibility of back-to-back relegations, Van den Berg has been a stalwart in Mainz’s defence, playing nearly every game and demonstrating his prowess by winning the most aerial duels among defenders in Europe’s top five leagues this season.

While his current (temporary) club Mainz is battling relegation, Sepp’s individual performances have been noteworthy, contributing to a defensive unit that has outperformed many teams in the league. With Mainz conceding fewer goals than 11 Bundesliga sides so far, Sepp’s presence in the backline has been pivotal.

Sepp back on Merseyside for good?

At 22, Sepp has thrived during his loan spell at Mainz, showcasing his potential and proving his worth at the top level. His experiences, including the struggles faced by his last two clubs, could serve as valuable learning curves as he looks to carve out a place for himself at Liverpool.

With Jurgen Klopp set to depart and Arne Slot poised to take the reins, Sepp’s Dutch connection could work in his favour as he vies for a spot in Liverpool’s defensive lineup next season. Despite speculation about Liverpool’s interest in signing centre-backs as per Fabrizio Romano, there’s a possibility that the solution lies within the club, with Sepp emerging as a promising candidate.

Liverpool can focus on internal options rather than the transfer market for defensive reinforcements. This could pave the way for Sepp to stake his claim and establish himself as a regular presence at Liverpool, especially given his versatility to also feature as a right-back.

Sepp van den Berg: In-house solution to Liverpool FC's defensive issues.
Sepp van den Berg: In-house solution to Liverpool FC’s defensive issues.

With time on his side, Sepp van den Berg has the opportunity to continue his development and cement his place at Liverpool. The coming season could be pivotal for his career, and fans will be eager to see him flourish in the famous red shirt, especially after his top-class outgoings on loan for quite a while now.

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Moreover, with Liverpool always looking to strengthen and plan for the future, it’s natural for the club to explore options for potential replacements in key positions, including the central defence. While someone like Virgil van Dijk continues to be a pillar in Liverpool’s defence, having a young talent like Sepp waiting in the wings could provide both competition and depth in the squad. It’s all about building for the future while maintaining the standards of excellence that define Liverpool Football Club.