Arne Slot runs into tricky Liverpool problem on first day as furious star eyes exit

Arne Slot has ran into an unwanted problem on his first day in charge at Liverpool (Image: Getty)

Sepp van den Berg has expressed his frustration over Liverpool’s handling of his career, feeling trapped by the club’s valuation that’s thwarting his desire to leave.

Despite being loaned out for four seasons, including stints in the Championship and Bundesliga, the Dutch defender has yet to make a Premier League appearance for Liverpool.

With new manager Arne Slot stepping in today, he inherits the issue of a disgruntled 22-year-old who is eager for regular playtime and feels neglected by the Reds, who have slapped a hefty £20million price tag on him.

In an interview with De Telegraaf, Van den Berg shared his journey: “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.”

Liverpool categorically denied agreeing a £5m deal for Mainz to secure the services of Sepp van den Berg on a permanent basis. The Reds have an array of defensive options which is why Van den Berg had been sent out on loan to gain vital playing time.

Virgil van Dijk continues to lead Liverpool’s defence and has recently been joined by young starlet Jarell Quansah towards the end of the season. Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez provide extra depth, making first team opportunities rather limited.