'Just look at my shoulders!' - Sepp van den Berg explains PNE impact and why he turned down Burnley in favour of move to Bundesliga
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Van den Berg spent 18 months on loan at Deepdale, initially joining as somewhat of a replacement for Ben Davies who famously made the move to Anfield. After six months playing at right wing back for the Lilywhites he rejoined on loan and cemented a place as a centre back.
The Dutchman was fantastic in his time at North End and finished last season as the club’s young player of the year, and he earned call ups to the Netherlands U21s.
He played 66 times in total for Preston and there was talk in the summer about a return to Lancashire, both Burnley and Blackburn Rovers were rumoured to be after the 20-year-old.
Van den Berg spoke with Vincent Kompany’s side but has explained his reasons for turning them down in favour of a move to Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga – and also the impact PNE had on him.
He said: “To be honest, I already knew during pre-season that I would be loaned out. The chance of playing time at Liverpool is of course small.
“It was nice that I was on the bench for four more games in the Premier League this season but I learn the most when I play.
“Over the last year and a half I gained a lot of experience at Preston North End in Championship. Just look at my shoulders, I have gained ten kilos only muscle mass.
“Another year Championship was not my preference. I spoke with Burnley, but I still wanted a step higher.
“The Bundesliga was my preference.”