It’s now just a week until Liverpool begin their preparations for the 2022/23 season.
Jürgen Klopp’s squad will first regroup at the AXA training centre before they embark on tours to Asia and Europe ahead of their first ‘competitive’ fixture in England against Manchester City in the Community Shield.
The month prior to that game will be an opportunity for Klopp to integrate players into his squad and to trial new systems in order to renovate his Liverpool team. It will also be an opportunity for new and old faces to catch his eye and make a statement for themselves ahead of the season.
One such player who could be eager to make his mark on the team is 20-year-old Sepp van den Berg.
When he first arrived at the club as a 17-year-old, the Dutchman was compared to Virgil van Dijk due to his nationality and towering figure.
But it has taken a while for the youngster to settle at Anfield, and Van den Berg has rarely featured for the club’s first team during his first three seasons at Liverpool.
That could change this summer though. Van den Berg spent last season on loan in the Championship at Preston North End and he stood out among his positional and age peers in terms of key metrics as we have already highlighted here.
His dominant performances both at centre-back and right-back for Preston may have caught the eye of Liverpool’s coaching staff, and Van den Berg will know this could be his opportunity to showcase his progression to them first-hand during the first few weeks of pre-season.
While Liverpool are well-stocked in the centre-back department, Klopp has always been open to experimenting and giving opportunities to those who work hard, and if the Reds incur any injuries along the way, Van den Berg could see an instant promotion.
Last season, Harvey Elliott laid out the perfect template to follow for players coming back from Championship loans into the first team squad stepping up to show his skills in the first team during pre-season, and this time around Sepp van den Berg will be looking to make a similar impact.
Considering there has been relatively few murmurs about a move away from the club for now, it is likely that Klopp will give him an opportunity at least to show him he is ready for an increased role at the club.