Sepp van den Berg has made it clear he wants to fight for a place in Liverpool’s first team next season.
The young Dutchman has enjoyed a successful spell on loan at Championship outfit Preston North End this season and has found himself deployed at both centre-half and wing back at Deepdale.
There is real competition at the centre of defence in Jurgen Klopp’s side with Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez all battling it out for a spot next to Virgil van Dijk, but van den Berg has claimed he ‘dreams’ of playing alongside the big No. 4.
“The intention is that I participate in pre-season and then earn my place in the dressing room,” van den Berg told Voetbal International (via the Liverpool Echo).
“At the same time, I know that the competition is fierce. This summer I will fight for a starting place. That’s what I hope, that’s what I dream of [playing with Van Dijk]. That is my goal for next season.
“The World Cup can help me with that. It will be a long and tough season, a lot of guys will leave or be gone temporarily. Then you might get the chance to play a little earlier. I have to do that.”
Matip has been the preferred option alongside VVD for most of the campaign, but Konate has featured and performed superbly in some huge fixtures this season.
The Frenchman is just 22 and therefore has the potential to be a fixture in our side for the foreseeable future.
van den Berg made 50 appearances for the Lancashire outfit across all competitions, scoring two goals and registering one assist.
He’ll certainly return to Merseyside a better player as a result of his time playing regular football in England’s second division.
He arrived at the club from PEC Zwolle as a 16-year-old and has made only four senior appearances for the Reds – he was a highly-rated talent with Bayern Munich, Ajax and PSV believed to have been interested in the defender before he opted for a switch to Anfield.
It’s great to see that he has the hunger to succeed at the club so hopefully he can impress during pre-season and take any chances that come his way next season.