Liverpool are nearing a loan deal to send Sepp van den Berg back to Preston North End, according to reports. The teenager spent the second half of last season there.
This comes from the Lancashire Post. They claim Liverpool and Preston are closing in on a loan agreement for Sepp van den Berg.
Van den Berg spent the final few months of the 2020/21 season there, of course. He joined on February 1st and ended up enjoying a very promising spell.
We initially believed he was heading there as a centre-back. That’s his natural role, both for PEC Zwolle and Liverpool’s academy. Not only that, but Ben Davies left for the Reds at the same time – the place was there.
Instead, Preston used Van den Berg as a right-back. He quickly grew in confidence there, though, playing regularly to end the season.
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He impressed so much, in fact, that Preston would like him back for the entirety of next season. And it appears Liverpool are happy to do that deal.
Van den Berg back to Preston
We recently wrote about the success of Van den Berg’s initial loan. It’s not often you get a player back who both played well and established a new position for himself. Certainly not in just four months of football.
That shows quite incredibly adaptability. Van den Berg didn’t know Preston, his teammates, nor his position, but became a regular player for them at right-back. The 19-year-old clearly has a lot of talent to pull that off in such a short space of time.
As we wrote, he’s ready for the next step and it appears Liverpool have found it. Of course, ‘the next step’ looks an awful lot like the last step but a full season should be a much bigger test for Van den Berg.
For one, he will head into the season with the team’s full expectation behind him. They’ll have goals this season and Van den Berg must help meet them – it won’t be like last season where dreams of promotion are behind Preston.
On top of that, there won’t be any praise for being quick to adapt. Van den Berg has already done that. This season will be about just how far he can go.
That will be a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, he doesn’t need to worry about learning an entirely new club and that makes things easier – there’s no doubt he can play well in Preston.
On the other, the pressure will be higher this season as Liverpool will expect him to thrive there. There’s no doubt they’ll want Van den Berg to return from his loan as a much better player.