Jurgen Klopp has praised Sepp van den Berg, who we sadly won’t be able to see in our next pre-season fixture with Borussia Dortmund, due to his international clearance not yet coming through.
The Dutchman arrived from FC Zwolle at the start of the summer and fans are naturally eager to see him as he’s our only senior signing of the window.
That said, the defender is 17, and while Klopp has waxed lyrical about his potential, he doesn’t think he’ll play much in 2019/20 due to the other options at our disposal.
“He’s a nice fella and a good footballer, but we knew that before, which is why we signed him,” Klopp told the Echo.
“But I’d only seen videos of him so it surprised me when he stood in front of me and was taller than me – that doesn’t happen too often in my life.
“Especially when they are 17 years old and still growing!
“He’s a wonderful boy and he decided to join us, which is good.
“It’s a not a long-term project where the boy has to think he has to wait five years to play for us, but it’s not for this moment.
“We don’t struggle in the centre-back position, we have a lot of options.
“Last year, there was a time when we had just one left plus Fabinho , that should not happen again. If we does, we find the solutions.
“With Sepp, he’s just an outstanding talent…”
In fairness, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren are a very strong quartet and not one that’s easy for teenagers to break into.
The former is the best central defender on the planet by some distance; Gomez has the potential to become one of them if he stays injury free; Matip was a man-mountain in our run to Champions League success and Lovren is in his peak defensive years, has played in a World Cup Final and is still only fourth choice.
For now, Van den Berg will train alongside our first-teamers at Melwood and hopefully develop at a fast rate. If he’s really shining, perhaps a loan deal during the second-half of the season could do him good.