Sepp van den Berg has highlighted the Liverpool forward line’s willingness to press as a key trait that distinguishes them from world-class PSG star Leo Messi.
The Liverpool loanee is set to face-off against his parent club this evening in the EFL Cup.
“I’d be playing centre-back. I’d look to my left, it was Mo. I’d look to the right and it was Sadio. Straight ahead would be Bobby, and as soon as I got the ball, all three of them would come running towards you! Scary. What are you going to do?” the Dutchman told Neil Jones of Goal.
“They work so hard. If you look at someone like [Lionel] Messi, for example, he doesn’t press. Maybe he doesn’t need to, but Mo, Sadio, Bobby? They press! They don’t give you a second on the ball.
“If I receive the ball and look to my left, I’ll see Mo running full pace towards me. Every single time! And that’s what makes this team so good, because that front three start the press and then the rest of the team follows behind. It’s like a train.”
The 19-year-old has played a prominent role in Frankie McAvoy’s side this term, starring in all 14 of the club’s Championship fixtures, primarily in the right-back spot.
Though not the experience we’d imagine the teenager would have expected given his preference for the centre-back role, it’s undoubtedly a time in his career he’ll learn to appreciate for the purposes of his development.
Coming highly-rated following his move from Zwolle in 2019, we’re excited to see Van den Berg continue to grow and hopefully reach his full potential will Liverpool.
He’ll have more than stiff competition for the future with the likes of Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez set to remain as fixtures in Merseyside for the long-term.
However, we’re sure it’s a challenge the defender is more than game for.