Scout report – Sepp van den Berg, Liverpool’s new signing
Now, from the outside, it doesn’t seem like the young Dutchman will make it to the first-team squad but on the basis of what we have seen of him so far in Zwolle and the Netherlands U19 team, we can say that he is one for the future at Anfield.
After all, German champions Bayern Munich were keen to sign him. They even called him when he arrived at Liverpool to complete his medical. (h/t Times)
Coming back to the Reds under Jurgen Klopp, they have become a club that stresses on bolstering the youth team to solidify the future. Trent Alexander-Arnold is a prime example of that.
Hence, the fans shouldn’t be downbeat by the fact that their first summer signing is based on improving the U19/U21 circuit.
Below, we will analyse van den Berg’s game, take a look at his strengths/weaknesses and how he can be Liverpool’s next big thing in a detailed scout report:
Scout Report – Sepp van den Berg (Baby Virgil van Dijk)
Firstly, Sepp van den Berg’s game has impressed many around Europe and he is rightly named the “baby Virgil van Dijk.”(h/t Scottish Sun) This is due to the fact that he is Dutch and his playing style resembles that of Liverpool’s current first-team centre-back.
If we analyse his game in depth, the 17-year-old is an excellent reader of the game and manages to make vital interceptions. His recovery pace to track the runs of pacy forwards is pretty good as well, which makes him a perfect fit for a high-line defence.
Furthermore, the Dutch U19 international is good when it comes to aerially challenging the opposition centre-forwards. That also makes him a genuine threat from indirect set-pieces into the opposition box, which is always a plus point in any centre-back’s game.
Being a modern-day defender, van den Berg doesn’t mind passing the ball out from the back or beating the initial press and moving into the midfield with the ball. His qualities are such that we shouldn’t be surprised if he plays as a defensive midfielder in the future.
Overall, it can be said that the teenager hardly has any negatives to his game. Maturity and dealing with the pressure will come in due course of time. He, of course, will have a chance to learn from van Dijk, who currently is the best centre-back in Europe.
Since Jurgen Klopp doesn’t hesitate to hand first-team opportunities to young players, we could see Sepp van den Berg playing for Liverpool in the near future. The player certainly possesses the potential to impress at Melwood and attract the eye of the manager.
All in all, we can conclude by saying that Liverpool have gotten a gem of a signing for such a low price. The best thing is the fact that they can wait for the player to grow/mature at the club, before handing him first-team opportunities.
From van den Berg’s viewpoint, he is at the best club right now, chiefly due to the fact that Klopp loves working with young players and doesn’t hold them back from progressing further.
Forget Liverpool – This 22-goal hitman would be better off joining any of these 3 top European heavyweights instead
Premier League Opinion: 3 potential summer landing spots for Mo Salah
According to a recent report by AS, Liverpool’s Egyptian ace Mohamed Salah is being linked with a possible move away from Anfield in the season right after he helped Jurgen Klopp deliver the Champions League title. It has been claimed that the winger refused to comment when asked out the subject after their 2-0 defeat of Tottenham in Madrid last weekend.
It is being reported that European superpowers Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are extremely keen on the Egyptian’s signature while the biggest surprise comes in the form on alleged Manchester United interest. The claim is that United are also keeping tabs on the winger’s situation at Anfield with a move away from Anfield looking more and more likely.
Although Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool will not let their star man leave without putting up a decent fight first, a call from a club like Real Madrid is enough to change any player’s mind-set. The Egyptian was a former Chelsea player who didn’t hit the expected heights at Stamford Bridge and was hence shipped out to Roma after a short period in London. Since making the switch to Merseyside though, he’s been an unstoppable force.
Still only 26, the Egyptian has already notched up 39 goals from 62 international caps while his 22 goals and 11 assists were enough to win him the Premier League golden boot at the end of the campaign. His departure would certainly have a telling effect on this Liverpool side and whether or not they’d be able to recover from such a catastrophe, remains to be seen.
Here are the 3 clubs being linked with a move for the Egyptian:
The English side have been on the look-out for talented wingers ever since the campaign ended a few weeks ago. Their lack of Champions League football could turn out to be a telling factor as it seems unlikely that the Egyptian, who just secured a Champions League winners’ medal with the Reds, will leave Anfield to join their most bitter rivals.
Real Madrid’s never-ending pursuit of all of the best players in the world has been applied to Mohamed Salah as well. Despite being linked more heavily with other players within the Premier League, counting Madrid out of any transfer saga can be a grave mistake. Signing Salah would probably go a long way in their agenda to replace the irreplaceable Cristiano Ronaldo.
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The Bavarian outfit are going into what could certainly be considered a period of transition at the Allianz Arena. The Bayern careers of their famous stars Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery have now come to a close and replacing household names like these, isn’t an easy task at all. Signing Salah would go a long way in their bid to regain monopolised control of proceedings in the Bundesliga next season.
A costly error – Man Utd must avoid signing Bundesliga’s top scorer from last season and here’s why
Man United Opinion: Why United must avoid signing Robert Lewandowski?
According to a report on the Transfermarketweb.com, Manchester United are interested in signing Bayern Munich hitman Robert Lewandowski.
The Pole, 30, enjoyed another stellar season in the Bundesliga as he notched 40 goals across all competitions. With 22 goals, he was confirmed the Bundesliga’s top goalscorer for the second year running as Bayern achieved their record seventh league title in succession.
However, the report claims Robert Lewandowski could leave Bayern after five seasons. That should give Manchester United a boost in their pursuit for the striker but the main question arises here—should the Red Devils splash the cash to sign him this summer?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a huge summer of rebuilding ahead. Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia are set to leave on free transfers next month, and Juan Mata is expected to follow. Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo could be sold to free up funds, while Alexis Sanchez’s future remains in doubt.
Manchester United need reinforcements all over the pitch and just like shoring up the defence is a priority for Solskjaer, bolstering the attack also remains the need of the hour.
Romelu Lukaku has failed to impress the Norwegian tactician and is now behind Marcus Rashford in the pecking order. The Belgian forward is long linked with a move away from Old Trafford and he’s expected to become Inter Milan’s first signing if Antonio Conte is confirmed as the Serie A side’s new boss. Should Lukaku depart, Solskjaer will be left with Rashford, Sanchez, Martial and teenage prodigy Mason Greenwood as options up front.
That clearly won’t be enough if the Red Devils are to realistically challenge for the title in the 2019/20 campaign, as neither Rashford nor Martial delivered the goods in the business end of the past campaign, whereas Sanchez managed just one goal in the league.
However, Robert Lewandowski, one of the most prolific strikers on the planet, won’t be a good fit at United. The Pole bagged 40 goals in 2018-19 as Bayern won the domestic double in Germany; unfortunately, he has started showing signs of slowing down. The ex-Borussia Dortmund man is 30 and doesn’t fit the profile of players Solskjaer wants to rebuild the United squad with.
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Above all, Lewandowski has a contract at Bayern until 2021, which means it would take the Red Devils a sizeable fee to tempt the German champions into selling their superstar. Even though the Premier League heavyweights have found rich success from signing Robin van Persie and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the ripe years of their careers, Solskjaer shouldn’t take a gamble on the Polish international.
Solskjaer wants to form a squad with young, exciting and hungrier talents to take United back on top. And regardless of Lewandowski regarded as one of the deadliest strikers in Europe, the Red Devils boss should dodge this bullet.
Forget it Emery – Arsenal would have another major flop in their team if they sign this injury-prone 30-year-old
Arsenal Opinion: Why the Gunners should avoid signing Jerome Boateng?
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has directly told defender Bayern Munich Jerome Boateng to leave the club this summer, alerting the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United.
The Germany international, 30, is no longer a guaranteed starter at Bayern Munich and managed just 20 appearances in the Bundesliga this past season. He has struggled with injuries over the last few seasons and despite having two years left in his contract, Hoeness has advised him to leave Bayern for a fresh challenge.
Now, Arsenal and Manchester United are believed to be interested in Boateng, but should the Gunners sign him from Bayern this summer?
Arsenal’s defensive problems were highly documented in the 2018/19 campaign, regardless of the acquisition of Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund last summer.
Sokratis had a decent first season at the Emirates and did tighten up the defence to some extent, but it was not enough. The Greek was also not helped by his teammates, as the Gunners conceded over 50 goals in the league.
What Sokratis needs is a reliable, strong and composed partner in central defence, which neither Shkodran Mustafi is nor Laurent Koscielny. Mustafi’s performances have been erratic, while Koscielny, at 33 years of age, is no longer the player he was.
Rob Holding is out with a long-term injury and while Unai Emery has young guns in Calum Chambers and Konstantinos Mavropanos in his squad, the north Londoners need a commanding presence at the back if they are to challenge for the Premier League title next season.
Boateng was once regarded as one of the best defenders in Europe, as he was physical, dynamic and was adept at initiating attacks from the back. Unfortunately for him, recurrent injuries for the last few seasons and lack of stability has hampered his progress mightily at Bayern.
He also endured a poor World Cup campaign in Russia in 2018 where Germany couldn’t get past the group stages.
Over the course of the last few seasons, there have been signs that those persistent knocks have started to catch up with the former Manchester City man.
Even in the 2018/19 campaign, Boateng looked a long way off the pace and lacked the conviction with which he distributed the ball from the defence. In fact, he hasn’t managed more than 20 league games in a season since 2014/15 tells us his struggles.
While Boateng was once one of the Europe’s finest centre-backs, his recent struggles and his poor fitness record means Arsenal should avoid signing him.
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If Emery is to spend big money on bolstering his defence, he’d be better served signing a young defender with the potential to become the best in the next few years’ time.
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