Liverpool centre-back Sepp van den Berg keen to make the most of his Preston North End loan

Preston North End newcomer Sepp van den Berg says a spell of loan football had been his ambition since last summer.

Wednesday, 10th February 2021, 8:00 am

The Dutch teenager joined PNE on loan from Liverpool on transfer deadline day.

He came to Deepdale for the remainder of the season as part of the deal which took Ben Davies to Anfield.

Van den Berg, 19, has only had limited first-team experience with the Reds since signing from PEC Zwolle in Holland.

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Defender Sepp van den Berg is on loan from Liverpool

So he is been keen to go out and broaden his experience, North End now giving him that opportunity.

The centre-half said: “My plan was to go on loan in the summer before the season.

“It didn’t work out then, which was unfortunate.

“So I started looking again in January and I’m happy to be here now. I think coming to Preston will really help my development.

“The first few training sessions were physical and intense, but good to do.

“At Liverpool I played four cup games which was great experience but now I need regular games and first-team experience.”

North End had looked at Van den Berg as a loan option before Liverpool made their move for Davies.

They needed a centre-half to cover the loss of Patrick Bauer to a snapped Achilles tendon for the remainder of the season.

Then Davies’ move made the need even greater, with PNE also bringing in Liam Lindsay on loan from Stoke.

Van den Berg said: “I knew about the interest and then I spoke to the gaffer about coming here.

“Obviously I spoke to Liverpool about it and some of the coaches there knew about the gaffer here and said this was a good opportunity.”

Van den Berg’s debut came as a 72nd-minute substitute against Rotherham, replacing Paul Huntington.

It was a tactical change as Lilywhites boss Alex Neil chased an equaliser.

Said Neil: “There were two reasons for the substitution.

“Firstly, I thought the defending for Rotherham’s second goal was really poor.

“Then I thought Sepp’s comfort on the ball would help us get out from the back better and get us into better areas quicker.

“He’s got plenty of pace and that will help us.

“With Pat Bauer’s injury and then Ben Davies going, we were quite vulnerable at the back and needed to cover those positions off.

“I was pleased that we managed to do that.”

When North End meet Blackburn in Friday night’s derby clash at Ewood Park, Van den Berg will be in opposition to Liverpool team-mate Harvey Elliott who is on a season’s loan at Rovers.

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