Liverpool’s still working out the kinks after surrendering two more goals against Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
Simon Mignolet allowed a howler to Bruno Fernandes, who set up Wendel for an equalizer after Liverpool had taken a 2-1 lead on goals from Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum.
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The result means the Reds have allowed two or more goals in all three of their U.S. based friendlies (3-2 loss to Borussia Dortmund, 2-1 loss to Sevilla, and Wednesday’s draw).
The Reds have also beaten Bradford City and Tranmere Rovers, and are yet to see Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane in the lineup.
Last season’s preseason wasn’t perfect, it must be noted, but the Reds only once lost and allowed multiple goals (A 3-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund).
The rough night in defense came after the news that Nathaniel Clyne will be lost until at least January with an ACL injury.
On a bright note, a young Liverpool defender said hello to the club after moving from PEC Zwolle this summer.
Sepp van den Berg is officially a Liverpool player with a $1.6 million deal agreed.
Plenty of top clubs across Europe have been chasing the PEC Zwolle teenager, but the 17-year-old center back has chosen to sign for Jurgen Klopp‘s reigning European champions.
Van den Berg made his debut in the Dutch Eredivisie during the 2018-19 campaign, making 15 appearances, and has already progressed to play for the Netherlands U19 national team four times.
Speaking about his arrival at Anfield, the youngster seems pretty happy to be calling Liverpool home.
“It’s just an amazing feeling. It is, for me, the biggest club in the world and it’s a dream come true. I am really excited,” van den Berg said. “I’ve seen what kind of players from the Academy grew into the first team here. It is unbelievable, especially when this kind of big club does that. Of course, the trainer [Jurgen Klopp] is a great guy and one of the reasons they are successful – and also one of the reasons I came here. I think this is the best place for me to grow and hopefully play a lot of games here.”
This is a long-term signing for Liverpool, but with Dejan Lovren eager to leave this summer to play regularly, VDB could be straight in as Liverpool’s fourth-choice center back. He is a defender who has a turn of pace but is also calm on the ball, and that seems to slot in perfect with what Liverpool want from their defenders.
Fellow Dutchman Virgil Van Dijk will be the perfect role model for the youngster (van den Berg mentioned that he can’t wait to learn “everything” from van Dijk) while Joel Matip and Joe Gomez will battle it out for the spot alongside VVD at center back in the next few seasons.
Having VVD pass the baton to VDB in a few years time seems like the plan for Klopp and Liverpool. NBD.
According to a report by Matt Law of The Telegraph, Liverpool has secured the $2 million signing of 17-year-old center-back Sepp van den Berg from Dutch club PEC Zwolle.
The report states that van den Berg is set for a medical with the club on Wednesday and that the Reds beat Bayern Munich and Ajax to the deal. It also states that Sampdoria was unsuccessful with a larger bid of $2.9 million back in January, and Liverpool has pounced with van den Berg set to enter the final year of his contract.
While van den Berg was a member of the PEC Zwolle first team last season, making 15 Eredivisie appearances and racking up 901 league minutes, the report states that van den Berg will take a season to integrate himself to the new squad and surroundings before challenging for a first-team spot with Liverpool. However, according to a report by the BBC, there is “belief” that van den Berg could potentially earn himself a place on the Liverpool first team that currently sports Virgil Van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, and Dejan Lovren at his position.
It will help van den Berg immensely that Liverpool already sports Dutch international defender van Dijk as part of the roster as well as another current Dutch international in Georginio Wijnaldum. The youngster is currently a starter on the Dutch U-19 squad that narrowly missed out on qualification for the U-19 Euros later this summer, finishing a point behind Spain for the Group 4 lead after a brutal 1-0 loss to Spain back in March on a 90th minute goal.
Van den Berg would constitute Liverpool’s first signing of the summer should he join, with the Reds at this point not expected to be major players for any significantly large deals this summer.