The 'New Virgil Van Dijk' May Get Chance To Impress At Liverpool's Pre-Season
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The squad will first regroup at the AXA training centre before they head on tours to Asia and Europe ahead of their first competitive fixture in England against Manchester City in the Community Shield, on July 30th.
This will give new signings Fabio Carvalho, Calvin Ramsay and Darwin Nunez time to integrate into the squad hierarchy whilst also playing their first minutes in a Red shirt.
It will also give chance to younger players and returning loanees to impress, including Dutch defender Sepp van den Berg among plentiful others.
The 6’2” 20-year-old has spent the last 18 months on loan with Championship side Preston North End, featuring at right-back, right wing-back and centre-back as the Lancastrians maintained their Championship status.
He joined as part of the Ben Davies deal to Liverpool, but it’s fair to say that the Whites got their value for money with Van Den Berg as a replacement.
Two years prior to this, however, he arrived at Liverpool as a lanky 17-year-old from PEC Zwolle, for whom he’d made 22 appearances for in the Eredivisie.
He was immediately compared to Virgil van Dijk - not just for his nationality, but his towering stature also.
He played four times for the Reds in the 2019/20 season, but looked a little nervous and shaky, as to be expected for a player of Van Den Berg’s age at the time.
With little news emanating that the club want to let him go this summer, it must be thought he can play a role for the club on a more regular basis following his outstanding performances for North End.
In 2020/21, Harvey Elliott had an excellent campaign in a similar part of the world for Blackburn Rovers before returning to a slot in the first-team squad at Anfield - and with a successful pre-season, Van Den Berg could well earn the same.