Sepp van den Berg to be given chance to impress in pre-season – report

Liverpool defender Sepp van den Berg is reportedly going to be afforded an opportunity to impress in pre-season.

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Sepp van den Berg is set to be given a chance to stake his claim in Liverpool’s squad in the forthcoming pre-season – likely to be Arne Slot.

Van Den Berg has had an excellent and productive loan spell with Mainz 05, the club where Jurgen Klopp made a name for himself, and is set to return to The AXA Training Centre for at least pre-season.

This is according to the Mirror, with Van Den Berg’s spell in the Bundesliga nearing its conclusion.

Initially facing challenges breaking into the squad, the defender has since established himself as a key fixture in the starting lineup at the MEWA Arena.

Amidst Mainz’s struggle in the relegation zone, the Liverpool player has stood out for his impressive performances on a personal level.

According to FBRef, he ranks in the 99th percentile for headers won, in the 96th percentile for blocks, and in the 83rd percentile for interceptions and clearances.

What makes it even more impressive is that he is doing it in the Bundesliga, meaning he is being ranked to all centre-backs in Europe’s Top Five leagues.

Of course, some of these statistics can be explained by Mainz battling in the relegation zone and having to defend more than other individuals.

But it is still a good reflection that he is doing the dirty work and proving a defensive stalwart for the Bundesliga side.

Critical period for Sepp van den Berg at Anfield

Sepp van den Berg has made 31 Bundesliga appearances under manager Bo Henrikson, with reports even suggesting Mainz were desperate to sign him permanently but would struggle to afford it.

Arriving at Liverpool in the summer of 2019 from Eredivisie side PEC Zwolle, van den Berg embarked on an 18-month loan spell at Preston North End.

Additionally, he spent the 2022/23 season on loan at Schalke.

Now 22-years-old, it does really feel like it is a make-or-break time for him at Liverpool.

It is no secret that Liverpool need defensive cover this summer.

Virgil van Dijk is not getting younger at 32, while Ibrahima Konate’s injury record leaves a lot to be desired.

Furthermore, it is unlikely that Joel Matip sees his contract renewed past the end of the season.

Perhaps, under Arne Slot, van den Berg is given a clean slate and is able to show enough to warrant a first team spot next season.

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