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The record-breaking rise of Sepp van den Berg – Liverpool’s next Joe Gomez

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Liverpool are set to complete the signing of Dutch centre-back Sepp van den Berg this summer, with the record-breaking teenager another shrewd acquisition.

Back in Hoever’s native Netherlands, a year prior, Van den Berg had experienced a similar rise, but a less demanding environment provided him more of an opening.

Stam, one of the Premier League‘s greatest-ever centre-backs, preferred the pairing of Thomas Lam and Bram van Polen, but Van den Berg still kept a place on the substitutes’ bench.

Van den Berg will be part of another shakeup of the club’s youth setup this summer, following Polish goalkeeper Jakub Ojrzynski and Northern Irish midfielder Conor Bradley to the club.

It would be remiss to put similar expectations on Van den Berg, but he joins with similar experience to Gomez, who was 18 when he made the switch and, like the Dutchman, was an under-19 international able to play right-back and centre-back.

Van den Berg looked to have grasped the pace of the game well, but was powerless to prevent Zwolle conceding a second goal through Ajdin Hrustic on the way to a 2-0 defeat, also picking up a yellow card for a foul in stoppage time.

The overarching goal is to train boys from our own football academy for the first team.” A month later, a 16-year-old Van den Berg made his debut for the senior side, replacing Erik Bakker at half-time with Zwolle 1-0 down to FC Groningen in March, 2018.
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