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Liverpool: Sander Berge is being ‘followed’ by the Reds after recent praise from Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool: Sander Berge is being ‘followed’ by the Reds after recent praise from Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool have been linked with a possible move for Genk’s defensive midfielder Sander Berge, who recently won praise from Reds manager Jurgen Klopp.

Corriere dello Sport reported quotes from Genk’s sporting director Dimitri De Conde saying that the Merseyside club are following him carefully and that Klopp congratulated the 21-year-old on his performance against Liverpool at Anfield in the Champions League last week. [via Sport Witness]

Norwegian media outlet VG reported [via Sport Witness] that the Reds manager approached Berge after that match and called him “a very interesting player”.

According to Tuttomercatoweb [via Sport Witness], Napoli are also quite interested in the Genk midfielder, who is valued at more than €20m (£17.14m) by his club.

Berge put in a diligent display in Genk’s 2-1 defeat at Anfield last week, with two successful tackles and three clearances made, as per WhoScored.

He is adept at winning headers, with 1.8 successful aerial duels per game in the Champions League this season, while he has an 81.4% accuracy rate from 39 passes per game. [via WhoScored]

A near-constant presence in Genk’s first team in 2019/20, he has scored twice in 20 games and been booked just once, while committing just two fouls in four Champions League appearances.

Standing at 6 ft 6 (1.95m), Berge has won more aerial duels per game in the tournament than any of Liverpool’s midfielders, of whom Fabinho has the highest match average with 1.5.

However, he has won just one tackle per game in Europe this term, fewer than Fabinho (3.3), Naby Keita (two) and Jordan Henderson (1.5), with his interceptions per game average of 1.3 eclipsed by Fabinho and Henderson with 1.5 each.

Also, the Norwegian’s passing success rate in the Champions League is lower than any of Liverpool’s midfield players – Keita, Fabinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have all posted 88% or higher. [via WhoScored]

Berge’s height and aerial prowess could be a useful addition at the base of Liverpool’s midfield if they were to sign him.

However, competition for places at Anfield is quite intense, with defensive midfielder Fabinho a firm favourite of Klopp, who has also utilised Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum for more than 1,000 minutes this season, as well as having Keita, James Milner, Adam Lallana and the in-form Oxlade-Chamberlain to call upon.

Also, with a passing accuracy rate that can’t stand up to the Reds’ current midfielders, Berge’s aerial ability alone may not be enough to get him into the team if he makes the move to Anfield. Right now, there doesn’t appear to be any great need for Liverpool to chase him.

Liverpool fans, would you like to see Berge at the club? Join in the discussion by commenting below!

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