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Van den Berg: “I Want to Play Centre-Back”

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The young defender wants to be playing at his natural position.

Coventry City v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Sepp van den Berg is returning to Preston North End for another loan spell after last season’s winter window move. This time, via Lancs Live, he’s set his sights on a specific goal: to get playing time at his natural position, centre-back.

The big young Dutchman made 16 appearances, starting 15. However, Preston North End gaffer McAvoy only fielded Van den Berg in his favoured position twice, one of which came as a substitute. The Liverpool FC defender featured nine times at right-back and five times on the right-hand side of the Preston midfield. Talking about this season, Van den Berg was clear about his intentions:

“In my head, I have my own ideas that I want to play centre-back. But I just have to show the gaffer what I can do there: show that he can trust me and that’s the main focus for me this pre-season – to show him that I can play centre-back.”

“For me, it’s my main focus. I just want to play as much as I can, improve and show everyone what I can do and that’s it. I want to make the team better and hopefully, we can win a lot of games, finish as high as possible and that’s just it.”

It’s important that Sepp has this goal on his mind for the upcoming season. Playing out on the right of defence or midfield will not aid in his long-term development, as it’s simply not what Liverpool have in mind for him. To position himself for an eventual break-through into the first-team, Sepp has to be playing centre-back minutes at a competent level... it’s that simple.