Liverpool face Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Sporting Lisbon in US
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 12/07/19 1:28pm
Sepp van den Berg is set to make his first appearance in a Liverpool shirt on the club’s tour of the United States after being made to wait for international clearance.
Paperwork for the 17-year-old, who arrived last month from PEC Zwolle for an initial £1.3m fee, is still being processed by FIFA and until the club receives official confirmation, he is only allowed to train.
Van den Berg missed the Reds’ 6-0 thrashing of Tranmere on Thursday and is unlikely to feature in Sunday’s second pre-season friendly at Bradford, but will travel to America with the rest of the squad on Tuesday for matches against Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Sporting Lisbon.
Liverpool already have four established centre-backs in Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren – who is interesting AC Milan – so Van den Berg has been brought in with one eye on the future.
But manager Jurgen Klopp has not ruled out the Netherlands U19 defender being involved with the first team this season.
“It depends. I open the door but the boys have to go through still,” Klopp said. “He is a wonderful player as well, but because of FIFA rules he is not available at the moment.
“He thought his future should be here and I thought the same, so now he is here and now let’s work together.
“He is 17 years old and when you see him you forget that constantly, but he is 17 and so there is a lot to learn. The good thing is he has the most time to do so, so everything will be fine.”
Klopp is also expected to add more youth to the ranks with the acquisition of Fulham youngster Harvey Elliott.
The 16-year-old, who holds the record for the Premier League’s youngest player, rejected a new deal at Craven Cottage and was in the stands to watch his potential new team-mates at Tranmere.
He cannot, however, sign a professional contract until he turns 17 next April and a compensation fee is to be decided by a tribunal.
Nations League participants Van Dijk, Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold return to pre-season training on Saturday, with Scotland captain Andy Robertson set to join them over the weekend, although none will feature at Bradford.