Surprise end for Van den Berg?
The 18-year-old central defender arrived at Anfield last summer after his £1.3m move from PEC Zwolle, during a summer that saw very little activity in the transfer market despite fractionally missing out on the Premier League title a few months prior, which was seen as a clever move for sporting director Michael Edwards.
Van den Berg moved straight into the U23s setup and has been unable to get himself an appearance in the Premier League, but did making outings in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup competitions respectively.
With the Merseysiders suffering a significant defensive injury crisis at this time, Klopp is looking for reliable faces to negotiate the squad through this tricky period.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference for Saturday’s Premier League clash against Sheffield United (cited by Jack Sear), Klopp spoke about the options that he has at Melwood.
He listed Nathaniel Phillips, who almost left Anfield in the summer, Rhys Williams and Billy Koumetio. But there was no mention of van den Berg at all by the boss.
Williams spent last season at Kidderminster in the National League North, while Koumetio has never made a senior appearance for any side, so to be behind both in the pecking order at a time when Klopp is in desperate need of defensive options is a very bad sign for van den Berg.
Marko Grujic influence
Questions will now begin to be asked as to whether the Dutchman will either be loaned out of sold, as he looks set to be the first Edwards addition who may flop at Anfield – the sporting director has a long line of success stories in the transfer market.
A season-long loan at a club in the Bundesliga or the Championship would be a wise move for the club to make, mainly due to the fact that he is so far down the pecking order at Liverpool.
Making similar career moves that Marko Grujic made would not be the worst idea in the world. The Serbian midfielder’s experiences with Cardiff City and Hertha Berlin in Germany have greatly benefitted his career and supporters were impressed by his showings in the League Cup.
This could dramatically boost van den Berg’s profile and could even get him in Klopp’s good books in the future if he plays at the level that’s required.
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