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“Pay Liverpool whatever they want!” – LFC loanee makes huge impression on latest outing

Liverpool loanee Sepp van den Berg has made huge strides in his development on loan with Preston, and his display against West Brom on Wednesday has got fans purring.

Van den Berg has become something of a forgotten entity on Merseyside, having spent the past year on loan with Preston in the Championship.

After a successful half-season spell with North End last term, the Dutchman agreed to spend the entirety of this campaign at Deepdale, despite interest from a host of other Championship clubs along with sides in Germany, Belgium and Switzerland.

It has paid off for the 20-year-old, who has already made 28 starts this season, settling into his natural position as a centre-back after an extended run as a right wing-back.

Sepp van den Berg, Preston

Under a new manager in Ryan Lowe – himself a former Liverpool youth player – Van den Berg has played a big part in a revival of Preston’s fortunes, including a standout display in Wednesday’s 2-0 win at West Brom.

The youngster was dominant in the air and on the ground, with his efforts vital in a clean sheet as Emil Riis and debuting loanee Cameron Archer made the difference at the other end.

Such has been the level of Van den Berg’s performances for Preston, and his influence in victory at the Hawthorns, North End supporters took to Twitter to hail their No. 2:

Van den Berg has already made four appearances for Liverpool, three times in the League Cup and once in the FA Cup, but he struggled to make an early impression with his parent club as he found it hard to adapt.

A year in the Championship – along with the first half of last season with the under-23s – has clearly boosted his progress, and he looks stronger, sharper and more attuned to the demands of English football.

While it remains to be seen whether he will be considered as a long-term option by Jurgen Klopp, his impact at Preston has got Liverpool fans talking too:

Preston are currently 13th in the Championship, and if possible they would almost certainly look to make Van den Berg’s stay in Lancashire permanent, with the youngster finding a home at Deepdale.

“Everyone worked very hard; I am happy to be playing centre-back,” he reflected after the win over West Brom.

“I keep developing myself and that’s why I came here – for me, playing every game, 90 minutes, tough opponents, I feel like I keep getting better and that’s what I’m here for.”

But there remains a chance he is in line for a promotion to the Liverpool senior ranks, particularly if Nat Phillips is to depart, allowing Van den Berg to challenge the likes of Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez.

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