Liverpool defender Sepp van den Berg will return to familiar surroundings in the Championship next season.
The Anfield club have confirmed the 19-year-old will link up with Preston again on loan for next season.
The Dutch defender spent the second half of the last season at Deepdale, making 16 appearances for the club. Preston were sufficiently impressed with the youngster and requested to re-sign the player.
Liverpool were also happy with the player’s progress and, according to James Pearce of The Athletic, they had first option on Van den Berg.
North End have now exercised that option and he will stay in Lancashire for the 2021/22 season.
A statement on the club website read: “A deal has now been finalised for the Netherlands youth international to link up with Preston again ahead of the forthcoming campaign.”
Van den Berg arrived at Deepdale in January as part of the deal that saw Ben Davies join Liverpool. He penned a six-month contract with the Lilywhites and made his debut against Rotherham United on February 6.
Asked how Van den Berg had played, Neil replied: “Excellent, to be fair we did play our right and left back in a certain way in terms of keeping them in, they weren’t as expansive.
“We know Sepp is very good on the ball, he’s quick and gives us good size in terms of defending crosses into the box. I thought he had a really good performance for his first game, really strong.”
Van den Berg joined Liverpool in the summer of 2019 from PEC Zwolle for a fee of around £1.3million.
He has featured four times for Jurgen Klopp’s first team to date, but he has yet to make a league appearance. And Klopp was happy to sanction another spell in the second tier to help Van den Berg learn his trade.
Liverpool target McGinn
Meanwhile, Liverpool are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle twice with a raid on Aston Villa.
The Reds are hoping to bounce back from a sub-par season that saw them within a whisker of missing out on Champions League football.
Injuries hit hard, but one player who remained a consistent performer down the stretch was Georginio Wijnaldum. The Dutchman was surprisingly allowed to leave as a free agent in a decision that was panned by Gary Neville.
Wijnaldum’s exit has left Jurgen Klopp mulling whether to bring in a direct replacement.
Several names have been linked, including a Bundesliga star tipped to have been their No. 1 target.
The 26-year-old makes Dean Smith’s midfield tick and boasts an all-action style that would seemingly be to Klopp’s liking.