Sepp van den Berg has shared that both Adam Lallana and Virgil van Dijk made efforts to help him acclimatise to his new surroundings after switching Zwolle for Liverpool.
The highly-rated defender arrived in England with much fanfare, though has yet to demonstrate his credentials for a regular spot in the first-team squad.
“It was tough. Especially the loneliness. But what do you want?” the young Dutchman told De Stentor (via Sport Witness).
“In Zwolle I had everything and everyone around me. My parents, my brother, my sister, my girlfriend, my friends, school, football. And suddenly I was alone in a house, far away,”
“The contact [he missed the most]. I could Facetime, just like I played a lot on the PlayStation, with my brother and my friends. But that is different from meeting physically.
“Of course, I was well received at the club. Virgil van Dijk, for example, quickly asked if I would sit next to him in the dressing room. And Adam Lallana helped me pick out the clothes.
“But to chill with those guys outside of football, or to talk as an unknown boy with world stars such as Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mané, you don’t do that so easily. That also made it tough.”
At 20 years of age, however, there certainly isn’t a sense of the player running out of time to impress the club’s coaching staff.
Should the centre-half continue to impress as he has at Preston North End, earning a regular starting berth in the backline of the Championship-based outfit, he’s certainly putting himself in a good position to remain in the eyeline of Jurgen Klopp, Pep Lijnders and co.
With us boasting promising young talents of the likes of summer signing Ibrahima Konate (22) and Joe Gomez (24), there’s cause for optimism when it comes to the future of our back four beyond the tenure of Virgil van Dijk.
Whether Van den Berg lives up to the challenge posed by his compatriot’s Liverpool legacy is another thing entirely, though the starlet still has time to prove he can live up to the hype that surrounded his initial switch to Merseyside.
Knowing he can not only rely on the coaches back at Anfield but also senior members of the squad can only help in that regard.