Defender who rejected Liverpool would not do so again

Date published: Thursday 4th March 2021 5:27 - Matthew Stead

Liverpool will be delighted to learn that Feyenoord centre-half Ramon Hendriks would no longer actually mind joining them.

Despite being one of the most highly-rated defenders in the country, Hendriks is yet to make his senior Eredivisie debut.

The 19-year-old joined NAC Breda on loan in January and has featured regularly for them in the Dutch second tier since.

But he could have found himself at Liverpool four years ago when the Reds were one of many teams pursuing his signature, with Hendriks considering his exit from FC Dordrecht at the time.

“I was able to go to Ajax, to PSV, to Feyenoord, to Liverpool and a few other clubs,” he told VoetbalZone of his many trials. “Very big names for a fifteen-year-old boy from Dordrecht.

“[Feyenoord] just suits me best as a person. It was very difficult to say ‘no’ to Liverpool. I thought about the adventure but decided to choose a relatively surer path.

“I think the toughness of the Premier League would suit me well, and Liverpool would, of course, have the preference.

“I don’t think I would say ‘no’ again if they ever come forward for me. For now, however, I first dream of a full stadium at NAC.”

Liverpool would sign a young Dutch centre-half two years later when Sepp van den Berg arrived from PEC Zwolle.

The 19-year-old ignored ‘increasingly frantic telephone calls’ from Bayern Munich to move to Anfield but has played just four times for the senior side since: thrice in experimentational League Cup teams and once in the FA Cup against Shrewsbury.

Preston signed Van den Berg on loan in February, seemingly as part of the deal that saw Ben Davies head the other way in a permanent move. He has started three games for the Championship club since, all at right-back.

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