Sepp van den Berg says the close family feel of Liverpool has justified his decision to snub some big European rivals and sign for the Reds.
The 18-year-old Dutch centre-back arrived last summer from PEC Zwolle after agreeing a deal understood to be worth an initial £1.3million.
Van den Berg, who has made four senior appearances this season, had other options with Bayern Munich and PSV Eindhoven also chasing his signature, with The Times reporting that the defender received “a series of increasingly frantic telephone calls to the player’s representatives” as he was being looked at by Liverpool’s medical team.
The player though says he made the correct design, and pointed to the closeness of the squad and the cuddles from Jurgen Klopp before training.
He told the Daily Mirror: “I had the chance to go to Bayern Munich, PSV Eindhoven or Liverpool.
“I was amazed that such big clubs wanted to sign me and I thought PSV Eindhoven was a brilliant option for me because I have been a fan from a young age.
“But, once Liverpool came for me, I knew where I would go because I can only describe my feelings for the club as mega.
“It is such a big club, but, at the same time, it feels like a family club.
“Thanks to Klopp’s approach and vision, I am up against the best attackers in the world several times a week.
“He lets me train and play against Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.
“That is something I could only have dreamed of in the past. These guys really belong to the very best attackers on this globe.
“Of course, it is hard. But when you are up against them every week and you learn some valuable lessons, then you only get better and stronger.”
“The warmth you feel, as a young player at Liverpool, is so special.
“I will tell you the best example of this. At other clubs, you arrive in the morning and people will say ‘Good morning’ or shake hands. But, here at Liverpool, you get a hug from the manager!
“Jurgen Klopp gives you a hug – and it’s those special little things that made all the young players feel appreciated and valued.
“That kind of warmth from the manager gives us the hope that we are all on the path to the Liverpool first team.”
Van den Berg believes the future is exciting for Liverpool with some very talented players coming through the ranks.
“There is a massive amount of talent in this age group,” added the centre-back.
“I don’t want to say we’ve now arrived on the big scene because every one of us knows that we still have a mountain to climb.
“But the average age of the team against Shrewsbury was 19.
“We are massively proud of what we achieved on the night and we all talked about it afterwards.
“The topic of our conversations was that we all want to get into the first team together one day.”