Liverpool have just completed one of the biggest surprise signings of the summer, the 17-year old Netherlands centre-back, Sepp van den Berg. Formerly of PEC Zwolle, the player was acquired by the Reds for a fee of £1.3million, after facing stiff competition from several elite European clubs.
As the youngster’s name is not quite familiar among many fans, here is all that you need to know about this highly-rated teenager.
His career so far
Van der Beng began his senior career only last season, making his first-team debut with PEC Zwolle last March. So far, he has played a total of 29 games for them – 22 of which came in the Eredivisie.
Van den Berg’s connection with Zwolle dates back to the 2012-13 season, when he first joined the club as a youth team player at age 10. Prior to that, he was a member of the local amateur club CSV ’28, since 2008.
A little known fact – He has also broken two all-time Eredivisie records in his short career so far. Though Sepp van den Berg is not the youngest-ever debutant in the Eredivisie, he became the youngest player to play at least ten games in the league’s history, at 16 years and 256 days. The record was previously held by none other than Clarence Seedorf.
— Key Sports Nederland (@KeySportsNL) September 2, 2018
In his senior-debut game last March, he also became the youngest player to ever receive a yellow card in the Eredivisie.
Sepp van den Berg is a centre-back who looks keen to get on the ball and lead his team’s play from the back, in addition to carrying out his defensive duties.
Standing at 6ft. and 2in., the teenager is understandably tall for his age and already looks an imposing figure at the back.
But very few people are actually aware of the fact that the youngster started his career as a right-winger. His pace is reportedly incredible and that helped him execute his roles as a forward. But later during his career as a U-17 and a U-18 player, his defensive ability caused him to change to right-back, before making the final transition to centre-back.
Sepp van den Berg zit bij de definitieve selectie van Oranje O19 voor het UEFA Preliminary Tournament. Het team van trainer/coach Maarten Stekelenburg speelt op 14-11 tegen gastland Armenië, op 17-11 tegen Duitsland en op 20-11 tegen Portugal. #peczwolle pic.twitter.com/9cQswjUbRy
— PEC Zwolle (@PECZwolle) November 9, 2018
His physical abilities – height and pace, along with his experience as a forward, makes him an ideal centre-back still suited to the modern game of pass-and-play football.
The Reds have paid PEC Zwolle a sum of £1.3million for the young Dutchman, with the fee potentially rising to £4.4million if he makes 350 first-team appearances with the Premier League giants.
The defender will initially spend time in the club’s youth setup before being given the nod to join the first team.
So now the readers know a lot about Sepp. But word around the rumour mill is that fans will be due for another surprise soon – Sepp’s younger brother Rav van den Berg!
— PEC Zwolle (@PECZwolle) January 10, 2019
Rav also plays as a centre-back and was Sepp’s teammate at Zwolle. Aged 15 years at the moment. Rav is also the subject of transfer link-ups with many European clubs including Liverpool.