'Hinder my future' - Ex-Preston North End star hits out at Liverpool amid £20m transfer talk

Sepp van den Berg of 1.FSV Mainz 05 Sepp van den Berg of 1.FSV Mainz 05
Sepp van den Berg of 1.FSV Mainz 05 | Getty Images
The ex-PNE man looks set to leave Liverpool this summer

Former Preston North End star Sepp van den Berg is not impressed with Liverpool - who he thinks are threatening to hinder his future.

The Dutchman was a huge success at Deepdale, on loan between January 2021 and the summer of 2022. After his spells in Lancashire, van den Berg has been in the Bundesliga - with Schalke and most recently, Mainz. He played 35 games in all competitions last season, scoring three goals as the German outfit finished 13th.

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Now, the centre-back has two years left on his contract at Anfield, but there have been reports of the Reds seeking £20million for him this summer. Van den Berg joined from PEC Zwolle, in 2019, at the age of 17. He has played four times for Liverpool’s first team and based on van den Berg’s latest comments, the chances of him featuring under new boss Arne Slot look very slim.

Speaking to De Telegraaf, he said: I knew that I couldn't get from PEC Zwolle to Liverpool's first team. I could have been at Liverpool for one or two more years, but I wanted to play with all my might. I demanded to be (loaned) out - every time, because I felt that I was getting better and better. I also made great strides physically.

"Just the whole (first) season. On the one hand, that was great. You're 17, 18 years old, central to the defence in training against the starting XI - you have to build up and then Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah come running towards you. It was tough, but I enjoyed it. But in all honesty, I wasn't looked after anymore.

"I also felt 'ready' (in 2021). I had a good conversation with the management. He said he had received good reports. I understood that I wasn't going to play Van Dijk, Matip or Konate out (of the team). But, I thought I could be right behind it. When I didn't get a chance again, I said: 'Figure it out, I want to leave.'

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"You didn't exude confidence in me all this time, but you do want to hinder my future. I want to keep playing every week and develop myself further. In Germany, I enjoy Dortmund away with 70,000 people, Bayern Munich away against Harry Kane... Stuttgart, Leipzig, Leverkusen, against clubs like that I am challenged every week."

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