Liverpool will hope for a successful loan from Sepp van den Berg. It’s their best hope at repeating last year’s Harvey Elliott success story.
Harvey Elliott spent last season out on loan with Blackburn Rovers. It was a huge deal for the teenager, who got his first taste of regular senior football.
It proved to be the making of the player, too. Elliott had a phenomenal year, proving himself to be a magnificent talent. But that wasn’t the only great part.
Elliott also showed Liverpool that he was ready to play a role in their first-team squad. He showed no signs of being too young, nor did he look too inexperienced.
Instead, Liverpool learned they had someone who could slot right into their plans the following year.
That’s a wonderful thing. Elliott is ‘like a new signing’, to use a terrible phrase. He’s an addition to last year’s squad and a very exciting one.
The question, then, is who could have the same impact of this season’s loan stars? For us, one really sticks out.
Sepp van den Berg – loan star?
Sepp van den Berg returned to Preston North End this season after spending the latter half of last year’s campaign there. It was a smart move all-around.
The Dutchman gets to go somewhere without a bedding-in period and where Liverpool know he can play well. We’re seeing that immediately, in fact.
Van den Berg has already scored twice this season despite predominantly being a defensive player. But he’s showing even more than that.
Per Whoscored, the 19-year-old has already played three different positions. He’s started at centre-back, right wingback and right midfield. That’s some fantastic versatility, considering he’s playing well in all three.
Defensively, Van den Berg is simply thriving. He’s averaging 2.4 tackles and 1.6 interceptions over the first five Championship games. Again, this is while moving around the pitch.
His two League Cup games look even better – 3 tackles and 3.5 interceptions. Those are remarkable stats.
Throw in those two goals and things look very, very impressive. Impressive enough that it’s easy to see how Liverpool could use Van den Berg.
He’s still only a teenager but is demonstrating a fantastic ability in a utility-man role. Van den Berg could cover three or four different positions at Liverpool – we’ve got a hunch that he could end up being a centre-midfielder.
That is definitely useful. Especially if Van den Berg continues to develop over the course of the season as Elliott did.
This is one to watch, then. Van den Berg might just be a first-team Liverpool player in waiting.