Liverpool have confirmed a deal to bring in Dutch defender Sepp van den Berg, with the fee reported to be an initial £1.3 million.
The 17-year-old centre-back emerged as a target this week and now completes a move to Merseyside after choosing Liverpool over the likes of Bayern Munich and Ajax.
The fee could rise to £4.4 million, with £3.1 million in potential add-ons included in the deal for the 6′ 3″ teenager.
Already a starter for his team in the Eredivisie, Van den Berg has played 22 games for PEC Zwolle, highlighting his fast rise—a record-breaker for the youngest-ever player to appear in at least 10 top-flight games in the Netherlands.
“I’ve seen what kind of players from the Academy grew into the first team here. It is unbelievable, especially when this kind of big club does that,” Van den Berg told the club website.
“Of course, the trainer [Jurgen Klopp] is a great guy and one of the reasons they are successful – and also one of the reasons I came here.
“I think this is the best place for me to grow and hopefully play a lot of games here.
“It is, for me, the biggest club in the world and it’s a dream come true. I am really excited.”
Likened to Joe Gomez at the same age, it will be interesting if Van den Berg now comes into the first-team picture despite being just 17 years old.
Reports state he will join Klopp’s squad for pre-season in America next month, when he will be able to learn from compatriot Virgil van Dijk and join fellow Dutch youth international Ki Jana Hoever.
No squad number though has been assigned to the youngster as yet.
Asked to describe his playing style, Van den Berg said: “I am a centre-half, I am calm with the ball, I am quite quick and can run, but I came here especially to improve myself more.
“I think this is the best place for me to grow and hopefully play a lot of games here.”
Welcome to Anfield, Sepp.