Liverpool stance on selling player who asked to leave on Arne Slot's first day

Sepp van den Berg has publicly declared he wants to leave Liverpool
-Credit: (Image: 2024 DeFodi Images)

Arne Slot was posed with a unique challenge on his first official day as Liverpool manager. Just hours after he started his role, one of his players, Sepp van den Berg, went public with his desire to leave the Anfield club.

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An interview published by Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf saw the young defender accuse Liverpool of standing in the way of his best interests, as well as criticizing the club's reported price tag of around $25m (£20m/€23m) to consider selling him.

Van den Berg spent last season on loan at German club Mainz. He impressed in the Bundesliga, prompting interest from other clubs in Europe as well as Premier League teams including Brentford and Southampton, according to The Athletic.

Despite making his feelings clear, it's claimed that Van den Berg's comments have done little to alter Liverpool's stance on selling him. According to The Athletic, Liverpool is standing firm on that valuation, and if it does not receiving an offer matching it then he could yet stay.

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He's also expected to get a chance to impress Slot in pre-season and work his way into the plans. While he is clearly unhappy at how his situation has previously been handled, the arrival of a new manager could give him a fresh start if he impresses on the pitch.

Van den Berg told De Telegraaf earlier this month: "I knew that I couldn't get from PEC Zwolle [straight] 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. Yes, how does that work, you're 17, 18 years old, you're 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 [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.'

"You (Liverpool) 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."