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Liverpool already has ‘next Virgil van Dijk’ faster than Sadio Mané as FSG can save transfer fee



A forgotten Liverpool defender once dubbed ‘the next Virgil van Dijk’ is quicker than Sadio Mane and could save FSG some money in the transfer market.

Liverpool are entering an interesting period in the club’s history. The upcoming summer transfer window is undoubtedly the busiest Jürgen Klopp has seen in ages. And for the first time, the Reds can even break the record amount ever paid for Virgil van Dijk.

But while the club’s priority will be to concentrate in midfield and go after Jude Bellingham, Liverpool also have an interesting challenge in the centre-back position. Although Van Dijk has been close to his best lately, he is not getting any younger and is expected to be 32 this year.

Also, Joe Gomez’s form hasn’t been quite the same since his long-term injuries. Meanwhile, Joel Matip is also getting older and with his contract expiring in 2024, now might be the best time to fire him.

But of course, if there are such intentions to overhaul the centre-back department, there must also be a suitable replacement and Liverpool must also be aware of the amount of money spent, with FSG likely to spend responsibly, as d ‘habit.

That doesn’t leave much room for manoeuvre, especially when Bellingham is the primary target in midfield. However, Klopp might have an easy solution that FSG won’t even have to spend a penny on – as he has already signed with the club.

Sepp van den Berg hasn’t had the happiest season. Loaned to Schalke 04, his move to the Bundesliga started off on the right foot. In his first three games, he won nine of 13 defensive duels, grabbed 26 interceptions and showed off his aerial prowess against Borussia Dortmund by winning six of his eight headers, according to Wyscout.

But then comes a premature ankle ligament injury, which has kept him out since October and has severely hampered his progress. However, he is on the mend and recently played for Schalke II in the fourth tier of German football, playing the full 90 minutes to speed up his recovery.

That means there’s a good chance he’ll be playing more for Schalke between now and the end of the season, with the German side needing all the improvements they can get. He is currently involved in a relegation battle and is second from bottom of the table.

This is a challenge for which Van den Berg is undoubtedly ready. He made a good impression in his first few games in the Bundesliga and showed he can play at that level. Liverpool will be watching his progress closely going forward to see how he handles the pressure of playing for a team struggling to survive.

Van den Berg is definitely a suitable candidate to give Klopp another defensive option in the first team. Recently, Twitter user MobyHaque1 pointed out the Dutch U21 international’s best speed in the Bundesliga – and it’s faster than Sadio Mane.

He outperforms not only Mané but also his Bayern Munich team-mate Serge Gnabry, both known for their change of pace. Seemingly quick enough to play the high defensive line that Klopp likes to use, with his superior physique and the fact that Van den Berg is also a Dutch international, it’s easy to see why on arrival he was described as ‘the next Virgil van Dijk”. ” on the way to Anfield. Indeed, the young man lived up to that name, having claimed in the past that he aspires to one day be even better than his compatriot.

Still only 21, it’s important to note that Van Dijk was still playing for Groningen at the same age with 66 senior games to his name. Van den Berg already has 100 and while development is never linear, that context is important to understanding the development of central defenders.

In general, centre-backs mature at an older age and Van den Berg is still considered a relatively young defender, despite his wealth of experience. Depending on how he recovers from his injury, it will be interesting to see if Liverpool decide to give him a chance this summer. If it’s a viable option, that’s great news for FSG.

It is clear there is an exciting talent out there and with the right education he is a defender capable of playing with Klopp in this Liverpool side.