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'They are going to see': 20-year-old loan star says he has improved so much ahead of Liverpool return

Sepp van den Berg has claimed that he is now a totally different player to when he left Liverpool for Preston North End on loan.

The 20-year-old is due to return to Liverpool this summer after a season-and-a-half with Preston. In that time, he has become one of the first names on the teamsheet for the Championship side.

And speaking to LancsLive, the Dutchman sounds like he is now ready to show Liverpool what he has learned during his spell in the second division.

“When I came to Liverpool I was 17 and I’m 20 now, so it has been a hell of a few years,” said van den Berg.

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“But yeah, of course they are going to see a different player. I think I have played like 60-odd Championship games so I have the game time in me now. That is a difference as well, so yeah, it’s going to be a different me when I go back in the summer, definitely.”

Everybody wins

van den Berg’s spell at Preston has been hugely beneficial for all parties concerned. As the youngster points out, he has grown immeasurably as a player, missing just one of their 43 league games this season. He’s also now a Holland U21 international.

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In that time he has been a standout performer too, leading to some fans branding him the ‘best defender they’d ever seen.’ By the sound of it, Sepp has had the time of his life in Lancashire.

“I have always said it, I’ve really enjoyed my time here (at Preston),” he said. “It’s been unbelievable and I didn’t expect it to be this good to be fair. It’s been one-year-and-a-half and I just love the club, love the fans, so it has been really good.”

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Although Preston haven’t been able to escape mid-table during van den Berg’s time at the club, they have been able to utilise a talented player for 18 months.

And for Liverpool, the benefits could be huge. van den Berg had looked way off challenging for a first-team spot after joining the club in 2019.

That may still be the case to some degree, but he’ll certainly be far closer now than he was when leaving the club in February 2021.

Another option for Klopp

It could be that Jurgen Klopp runs the rule over him in pre-season and decides he isn’t quite ready to challenge for his place at Liverpool.

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In that case, after his excellent couple of seasons, The Reds could surely sell him for a lot more than the initial £1.3m they bought him for. Failing that, another loan could be on the cards.

Klopp will surely have been delighted by what he has seen and heard from van den Berg’s time away from the club.

It’s down to the youngster now to back-up his words and show the manager just how far he has come since he last set foot at the AXA Training Centre.

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