LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, July 31, 2022: Liverpool's Sepp van den Berg during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and RC Strasbourg Alsace at Anfield. Strasbourg won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool defender suffers new injury blow to cast doubt over summer plans

Liverpool defender Sepp van den Berg is facing another spell on the sidelines, which could have a bearing on his plans for a move this summer.

Van den Berg endured a nightmare spell on loan at Schalke last season, with a serious ankle injury keeping him out for the majority of the campaign.

That blow – which required surgery – along with further setbacks limited the Dutchman to just nine appearances, as his side were relegated from the Bundesliga.

Schalke remain interested in a new deal for Van den Berg, but it had been speculated that he could instead head to Mainz or even stay as part of Liverpool’s first team.

First up, though, was a role at the U21 Euros with the Netherlands – until another injury blow struck earlier this week to force him out of the squad.

The Dutch FA confirmed the news on Saturday, with VoetbalPrimeur then reporting that Van den Berg had suffered a “muscle tear.”

While the specifics of the injury are as yet unclear, there is a concern as the 21-year-old’s issue at Schalke is also described as a “muscle tear” and there is, of course, a risk of recurrence.

Van den Berg has been replaced by Shurandy Sambo, with the Netherlands facing group stage clashes with Belgium, Portugal and Georgia later this month.

Sepp van den Berg of Holland U19 (Gerrit van Keulen/VI Images/PA Images)

It is a major blow for the player, given he was in line to start alongside Liverpool target Micky van de Ven at the tournament.

Instead, he will now undergo rehabilitation and likely report back to the AXA Training Centre for pre-season on July 8.

Whether he stays with Liverpool or not remains to be seen, though there is a chance this injury damages his chances of another loan or even a permanent exit.

Van den Berg will qualify as a homegrown player in next season’s Premier League, which could make him a more valuable asset to Jurgen Klopp and his staff heading forward.

There is a chance he could, therefore, stay in place of Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams as cover at centre-back and, at a push, right-back.