Forgotten player wins Liverpool pre-season fitness test

Liverpool

It is no longer news that things are new and different at Liverpool these days after the departure of the hairy Jurgen Klopp and the arrival of the clean-shaven Arne Slot. 

After their near-success of last season and the departure of their most successful coach in the modern era, the Anfield club are undergoing another rebuild this summer. They underwent a rebuild last season, with several first-team stars departing for greener pastures. They have already lost Joel Matip, Thiago Alcantara and Adrian this summer and are likely to sell Nat Phillips.

There is a feeling there will be many more departures in the coming days, especially for the fringe members of the squad unless they grab their opportunities in pre-season. 

A few Liverpool players returned to the club for pre-season last week. With the bulk of the club’s big boys away with their national teams for the European Championship and Copa America, Arne Slot has a lot of time to work with the club’s fringe players.

According to a report by the Athletic via Sportsmail, one of these fringe players, Sepp van de Berg, has impressed Slot with his fitness. 

The forgotten 22-year-old reportedly won the club’s pre-season fitness test over the weekend. He made his mark by registering the highest average speed during the club’s fitness tests.

Slot would have been impressed by the defender, who is looking to force his way into the Liverpool first-team setup and is now the new champion. Since joining the Reds in 2019 as a teenager, the Dutchman has had three separate loan spells and made just four senior appearances for the Reds.

He spent last season on loan at Bundesliga club Mainz after previous spells at Preston North End and Schalke, and previously asked to leave Liverpool after accusing them of trying to ‘hinder his future’.

But he has returned to the club this summer and is set to be handed the chance by new Liverpool boss Arne Slot to prove he has a future at Anfield.

What Top Six Football Thinks

Although speed is not a measure of a defender’s ability, Van de Berg’s quick feet may be enough to convince Slot to keep him around beyond this summer. 

The new Red’s coach is known for playing aggressive forward-foot football, so Van de Berg’s pace may be a huge asset for him. And given that captain Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate will be arriving later due to their Euro commitments, the defender has a lot of time to prove himself in Liverpool’s pre-season friendly games.

The Dutch defender may also be encouraged by Jarell Quansah’s progress at Anfield last season. Jurgen Klopp gave the young centre-back a significant amount of game time in the second half of the campaign.

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