Sepp van den Berg probably wasn’t the young Dutch defender many Liverpool fans were hoping for. Indeed, most Reds hadn’t heard of the 17-year-old before he had already signed on the dotted line.
Regardless, he was the Dutch defender we got. And one of the reasons we were able to beat several other big European clubs to his signature was because he bought into Jurgen Klopp’s vision and pathway to the first team. Van den Berg only needed to look as far as his fellow 17-year-old Dutch defender Ki-Jana Hoever to see just how much Klopp and Liverpool value their youth projects.
Hoever was handed his senior debut at just 16, in the third round of the FA Cup, six months after signing for the club. Despite having limited chances outside of domestic cup competitions, Hoever is still excited about the upcoming possibilities, and the season ahead with the club.
“It’s a special experience. I don’t think a lot of 17-year-old boys have got it,” Hoever explained to the club’s official website.
“I’m really thankful for that and I’m really happy.
“I’m looking forward to everything [on the tour]. It’s the first pre-season for me so I just hope to learn a lot of things and have a few minutes in the games. We play against good opponents.”
With first team players still slowly coming back into the fold after vacations and training, it’s a good opportunity for Hoever et. al to make an impression in the manager’s mind, and hopefully take a step toward regular first-team involvement.
The lads will have their next opportunity to impress against Borussia Dortmund on Friday.