'Excellent' Liverpool loan player scores on return from long-term injury
Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

'Excellent' Liverpool loan player scores on return from long-term injury

On-loan Liverpool defender Sepp van den Berg scored for Schalke on his return from a seven-month injury lay-off.

Van den Berg began the season in good form for the Germans, but suffered ankle ligament damage at the start of October. With Schalke mired in a relegation battle, it will have hurt the 21-year-old not to be able to help.

Indeed when young Sepp entered the pitch in the 77th minute of today’s game against Werder Bremen, his side were 1-0 down. Stuck second-to-bottom of the Bundesliga, it was looking like another loss.

Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

Queue Liverpool’s on-loan Dutchman to get his side back on level terms. It took Van den Berg just four minutes to equalise, guiding home a nice left-footed finish from the edge of the penalty area.

After almost seven months out, the release of emotion from the youngster was quite something. Racing towards the Schalke fans with his arms and mouth wide, he looked understandably overcome. The day was to get even better for our Sepp, as Dominick Drexler bagged an injury time winner to give the Royal Blues a much-needed win.

Van den Berg making up for lost time

With just four games to go of the Bundesliga season, there isn’t much left for Van den Berg to salvage from this season. That’s a real shame. After an ‘excellent’ 18 months at Preston North End, joining Schalke looked like it could be a great step in his development.

Unfortunately, it just hasn’t panned out of that way. The great shame is that prior to his injury, Van den Berg had been playing every game for his new team.

Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

Had he not been forcibly removed from the line-up, he’d have likely played a big part for the rest of the season.

That would have heightened his prospects for a successful return to Liverpool this summer. With the Reds on the lookout for defensive reinforcements, Van den Berg could have marked himself out as an in-house solution.

Perhaps that will still happen once the Netherlands U21 international joins Liverpool for pre-season this summer. But you get the impression that after a lost season, he may have to go out and prove himself elsewhere yet again. If that comes to pass, Schalke are reportedly keen to keep him.

Either way, that’s all to come. For now, let us just say congratulations Sepp and here’s to staying fit and healthy for the next four games.

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