Football News

Liverpool defender Van den Berg is a no risk signing, according to Jaap Stam

By William Eldridge

Published: 22:35, 30 June 2019

Former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam believes there are no risks in Liverpool’s latest signing of Sepp van den Berg.

The 17-year-old Dutchman joined the Reds from Eredivisie side PEC Zwolle for £1.3 million last week.

No risk move for Liverpool? Five things to know…

  1. Liverpool signed Sepp van den Berg on Thursday, making him the club’s first transfer of the summer.
  2. Van den Berg made 22 top-flight appearances in the Netherlands.
  3. Reports suggest Bayern Munich, Ajax and PSV were all interested in signing the youngster.
  4. Stam was in charge of Van den Berg for half a season at PEC Zwolle.
  5. Van den Berg mustered a pass accuracy rating of 88.4% in the Eredivisie last season.

Stam spoke to reporters about Jurgen Klopp’s latest signing, who joins the club following their eventful 18/19 season, with the Reds winning their sixth Champions League title, while finishing second in the Premier League table.

The former United centre-back believes bringing in Van den Berg is a no-lose situation, with the player signing for a low fee, meaning that if he doesn’t succeed, Liverpool’s stature would still likely see them make a profit on the youngster.

Stam said: “Sepp is a very talented player, we’ve said that many times at PEC Zwolle.

“We all know how this world works, so it’s inevitable that a player makes a transfer at a certain point in his career.

“We know that English and Spanish clubs scout all over the world, but especially in the Netherlands for talented Dutch defenders, because they’re known to be good with their feet.

“Those clubs usually have enough money lying around to take a risk and sign a few of them and see if it pays off in the long run.

“If it works out, great. If it doesn’t, they’ll probably sell them for more money than before. In the end, it’s up to the clubs, but I wish Sepp all the best and I hope he’ll turn out to be a big success story at Liverpool.”

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Targeted by various major European clubs, Van den Berg decided to move to the Premier League runners-up to further develop his game. Stam – who is the boss of Feyernoord – discussed whether he had attempted to sign the defender himself.

Stam was the 17-year-old’s manager for half a season before he switched Eredivisie clubs in January.

He continued: “We haven’t talked about that.

“Looking back at the situation we were in at PEC Zwolle, we were battling against relegation. In those cases, you have to make sure that the available players are of the sufficient level to perform week in, week out.

“In those cases, you don’t have time to educate and to develop, which sometimes could hurt the development of youth players. But to be very clear about the subject – if the youth players show they are ready, they get a shot.”