Preston leads the race for Liverpool starlet Sepp van den Berg

Preston North End is pushing to sign Liverpool center-back Sepp van den Berg on loan after the Reds decided he needed more first-team experience.

Even with all of Liverpool’s central back injuries (and there have been a lot of them), the 19-year-old hasn’t made a single appearance for Jurgen Klopp’s senior side, coming closest to a appearance on the bench in the Carabao Cup third round against Lincoln City.

Dilan Markanday, Sepp van den Berg
Van den Berg plays reserve football | Jan Kruger / Getty Images

Klopp preferred Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams as emergency center-backs due to their recent experiences in senior football, and according to Football Insider, now is the time for Van den Berg to sign his first loan.

Interestingly, as this season approaches, it was Van den Berg who had the most senior experience of the three. He made 22 appearances for the Eredivisie’s PEC Zwolle between 2018 and 2019, but the problem was that Klopp wanted his first-team players to have more recent senior playing time under their belt.

Phillips spent last season on loan with German second-tier team Stuttgart, while Williams played non-league football with Kidderminster Harriers, but those spells were enough to see them move past Van den Berg in the pecking order.

Rhys williams
Williams was the first regular team | Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA / Getty Images

To give the 19-year-old Dutchman the experience he needs, Liverpool have agreed to loan him out for the remainder of the campaign, and it is the Championship side Preston who are leading the race for his signing.

There are a number of other second tier sides who love the Dutchman, while there is no shortage of interest from Europe, but Preston is supposed to go out of his way for a deal fearing losing star defender Ben Davies.

Jurgen Klopp
Klopp wants more experience in his team | Marc Atkins / Getty Images

Liverpool are ready to let Van den Berg go as he is not seen as a response to their defensive struggles. Instead, Klopp hopes to sign a new senior center-back before the transfer window closes.

With so little time in the window, options are limited for Liverpool. Figures such as Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi and New York Red Bulls Aaron Long have both been mentioned as emergency signings, but talks are still ongoing.

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