Preston North End were more than happy to bring Sepp van den Berg for an extra year – and Virgil van Dijk played a role in his return to PNE.
When PNE sold Ben Davies to Liverpool on deadline day back in February, they just had to get whatever they could out of the deal.
Davies was out of contract in a matter of months and was not going to re-sign.
PNE ended up bringing in a modest fee as they granted Davies a dream move to Liverpool. They also brought in Van den Berg on loan as well as holding a sell-on clause on Davies.
Whilst Davies has barely been seen at Liverpool and is now on loan at Sheffield United, Van den Berg has excelled with PNE.
The 19-year-old impressed as a makeshift right wing back last season, despite being a centre back by trade.
Despite wanting to play in that role this season, Van den Berg has continued as a wing back. Right now, it’s hard to argue against it.
Van den Berg scored his first ever senior goal against Morecambe last month, and then followed it up with an outstanding strike just days later against Swansea City.
Van den Berg has become hugely popular with PNE fans, with the Dutchman an immensely likeable character.
Now, Van den Berg has admitted to NOS in the Netherlands that compatriot Virgil van Dijk played a big role in the decision to return to PNE.
Other clubs wanted Van den Berg, but Van Dijk advised him to return to Deepdale for the full season in order to play regular minutes – and the teenager still dreams of first-team action alongside Van Dijk at Anfield.
“We talked for a while. He asked me how I thought it went at Preston and told me that he thought it was a good choice, because making minutes is so important,” said Van den Berg. “Who knows, I may be next to him next season. You should always keep dreaming,” he added.