Last night, Liverpool were reportedly confident of securing their first signing of the summer transfer window. Twelve hours later and the deal is apparently done with just the medical to make it official. Increasingly, that’s been the way of things when it comes to Liverpool in the transfer market.
It probably helped keeping things quiet, though, that the first signing is PEC Zwolle’s highly rated 17-year-old central defender Sepp van den Berg, with the fee agreed reportedly in the £2M region and likely to include a sell-on fee for the young player who has a year left on his first professional contract.
According to The Telegraph’s Matt Law, a medical is now set for Wednesday after Liverpool beat Ajax and Bayern Munich to the youngster who made 16 senior appearances for mid-table PEC last season, with 15 of them in the Eredivisie—an impressive tally for a player as young as he is.
The obvious comparison point for fans will be another 17-year-old Dutch centre half, Ki-Jana Hoever, who Liverpool pried away from Ajax’s academy when they signed him to his first professional contract. Joe Gomez, who arrived for £3.5M as an 18-year-old, could also be a useful comparison point.
Van den Berg will be expected to take part in pre-season and, though a first team role this season isn’t impossible, it’s most likely he will spend the season partnering Hoever with the U23s. Given his age, the defender will qualify as homegrown after three seasons on Liverpool’s books.