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'I will fight': Sepp van den Berg wants Liverpool first-team place in 2022

Liverpool loanee Sepp van den Berg has big plans for 2022, it seems. The Dutchman wants a first-team place with the Reds.

Sepp van den Berg has spent the last year-and-a-bit on loan with Preston North End but does return to Liverpool at the end of this season. What does his future actually look like, though?

That’s not clear whatsoever as the 20-year-old has impressed with Preston. Van den Berg has learned a new position as a right-sided player – in fact, he’s played both right-back and right-midfield at times this season. That makes him very useful to any side as he’s already a fine ball-playing centre-back and has been since Liverpool paid £1.3m to sign him.

Van den Berg clearly sees that use, too. He believes there’s potential for him at Liverpool and in 2022 once he returns from his loan. A dream of playing alongside compatriot Virgil van Dijk remains alive.

“The intention is that I participate in pre-season and then earn my place in the dressing room,” he told Voetbal International. “At the same time, I know that the competition is fierce. This summer I will fight for a starting place.

“That’s what I hope, that’s what I dream of [playing with Van Dijk]. That is my goal for next season.

“The World Cup can help me with that. It will be a long and tough season, a lot of guys will leave or be gone temporarily. Then you might get the chance to play a little earlier. I have to do that.”

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Sepp van den Berg in 2022

It isn’t exactly easy being a young centre-back at Liverpool right now. Even a player as talented and experienced as Joe Gomez struggles for games, such is the strength in depth at first-team level. It’s hard to believe that Van den Berg could break into that.

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The fact he can now play at right-back certainly helps things. Liverpool could use him as backup for Trent Alexander-Arnold, while also covering at centre-back. That doesn’t seem likely, though, as they apparently see Rhys Williams as fifth-choice centre-back and want Calvin Ramsay at right-back.

Still, we can appreciate the fight in Van den Berg and he’s got to show that to have any chance at a first-team spot. We believe the most likely outcome is another loan, though. If the 20-year-old can step up another level, he might have a shot at a first-team place down the line once other players age.

2022, though? We just don’t see the room for him as things stand.

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