Liverpool defender Sepp van den Berg has returned to Germany for a second successive loan spell, seeing the Reds lose a potential homegrown player for 2023/24.
The 21-year-old spent last season on loan at Schalke and was hit by a number of disappointments, including relegation and a serious ankle injury.
Van den Berg played just four games before his injury and managed five on his return, for a measly total of nine appearances.
Schalke remained interested in keeping hold of the Dutchman for 2023/24, but Liverpool have agreed a season-long deal with Mainz to keep Van den Berg in the Bundesliga.
The centre-back returned to the AXA Training Centre at the start of pre-season but he quickly returned to Germany, joining one of Jurgen Klopp‘s former clubs.
A muscle injury during the summer robbed him of the opportunity to represent the Netherlands in the U21 Euros, but he will be ready to have an influence for Mainz in his fourth successive season on loan.
In losing Van den Berg, the Reds are now unable to list him as a homegrown player for the upcoming season, which was a valuable asset to have after summer departures and interest in other homegrown players.
But after a season to all but forget, Liverpool will know his development is best served playing first team elsewhere rather than competing with the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
All the best, Sepp!