This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
As quoted by the Liverpool Echo, Jurgen Klopp has hailed new signing Sepp van den Berg as an “outstanding talent” and suggested he could be ready to play sooner rather than later.
The 17-year-old became the Reds’ first signing of the summer transfer window, as Klopp’s side beat off competition from a host of European football’s top clubs for the centre-back’s signature.
Having seen the Dutchman in training, Klopp delivered an exciting assessment of the teenager, but cautioned that Liverpool’s strength in numbers in central defence could see his playing time limited for now.
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The German said: “He’s a wonderful boy and he decided to join us, which is good. It’s a not a long-term project where the boy has to think he has to wait five years to play for us, but it’s not for this moment.
“We don’t struggle in the centre-back position, we have a lot of options. Last year, there was a time when we had just one left plus Fabinho, that should not happen again. If we does, we find the solutions.
“With Sepp, he’s just an outstanding talent. He has to adjust to a proper physical pre-season, which is hard for him so we help him and do the right things for his development.”
When you have to fend off competition from the likes of Bayern Munich and Ajax for someone’s signature, then you know the player must be at least half decent. As Dutch centre-backs seem to dominate the headlines in recent weeks and months – namely Liverpool’s own Virgil van Dijk and now Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt – the world will be watching van den Berg’s progress with a keen eye.
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As Klopp mentioned, the Reds are well stocked in the defensive department and boast the likes of van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren in that centre-back position.
Liverpool’s desire to retain their Champions League crown and finally end their wait for a Premier League title will only add to the lack of playing time van den Berg will receive next season, but Klopp’s assessment of the player certainly bodes well for the Merseyside club’s long-term future.