Sepp van den Berg has praised Virgil van Dijk for teaching him since his arrival at Liverpool.
“They [senior players] actually teach me everything,” he told Fox Sports. “Virgil van Dijk, for example, who I can watch, they teach me how to win the Champions League final. That’s football.
“Everyone helps me. I can learn the most from Van Dijk. So if he gives me tips, I’ll save them. If I make a mistake like not stepping up and things like that. It is things you need to know.”
Yes, it’s quite obvious that a senior professional would teach a young up-and-comer. But the weight that Van Dijk’s advice now carries is such that it can heavily influence a player like Van den Berg.
That’s a huge advantage. Van den Berg was a real coup for Liverpool and it only helps his chances of reaching his potential when he has a player like Van Dijk around.
And Liverpool’s £75m record signing has truly become a player to look up to in the last 18 months. His performances were rewarded with the Champions League trophy last season, of course, as well as the UEFA Player of the Year award.
Van Dijk may well win the Ballon d’Or later this year, too, and it’s only further fuel to motivate and develop a talent like Van den Berg.
It’s a huge advantage to have over other teams. Being able to sign a talented young player and having elite players around to teach and learn from – that’s the dream.
And it’s something that Liverpool have lacked for a long, long time. They haven’t had settled world-class players around and young talents haven’t had that example to follow.
Now they do – and not just in defence. The Van Dijk/Van den Berg connection is the easiest to see, though – same nationality, same position. If the latter becomes a top player, it will be yet another positive from Van Dijk’s signing.
That £75m fee could look like nothing – if it doesn’t already.