Liverpool defender admits he ‘may make choice to leave’ in summer as ‘Virgil and Konate’ addressed

Ciaran McCarthy
Sepp van den Berg, Liverpool, November 2019
Sepp van den Berg after game for Liverpool

Sepp van den Berg has admitted that he “may have to make the choice to leave” Liverpool in the summer if he notices a “lot of playing time is not available.”

Since joining the Reds in 2019, now 22-year-old Van den Berg has played just four games for the club. He has largely found his minutes away from Anfield, during spells with Preston, Schalke and currently Mainz.

The Dutch defender has played just over 100 senior games in his career, with the highest number of those coming across over two seasons at Preston.

But he’s now in his second season of top-flight football in Germany, and seems to be progressing well with Mainz. Van den Berg has missed just one game for the Bundesliga side, and has played a full 90 minutes in most of his games.

The last game saw him score the winner against Augsburg, and he also scored in a 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund recently.

With Joel Matip’s future up in the air, and Van den Berg impressing in Germany, it seems there’s a chance he is given a spot in the Liverpool squad at the end of his loan spell.

The defender has touched on the fact that he could look for a new club if that doesn’t happen.

“If I go back to Liverpool, they may want me to stay. If I notice that a lot of playing time is not available, then I may have to make the choice to leave,” he told Voetbal Nieuws.

“For me, it is really important that I play. In the years before, I did not have the feeling that I would be in the starting line-up next to Virgil [van Dijk]. I don’t know yet what [my prospects] will be like next summer.”

Indeed, van den Berg is aware that breaking into a defence including Van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate will be tough, but he’d seemingly be ok with minutes from the bench to show the club want him to have a role.

“I think I am doing well. I can handle the level at Liverpool. I can compete. But becoming a starter is, of course, still a different thing,” he added.

“Virgil and Konate are not small boys. I know it will be difficult.”

If a Liverpool role is not to be, the defender suggests a move back to the Netherlands is off the table, but a Bundesliga return could interest him.

“I like abroad better. The level is higher. Nothing to the detriment of the Eredivisie. PSV are doing quite well at the moment, but the basic level in Germany is higher,” he said.

“I prefer to play for Mainz against Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig. Even Koln is a big club with a nice stadium and lots of fans.”

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