Bo SvenssonBundesligaFootballJurgen KloppLiverpoolPremier Leaguesepp van den bergtransfer news

Nightmare start for Liverpool man out on loan with five defeats and an own goal

There were a few good reasons propping up Jurgen Klopp’s decision to send Liverpool defender Sepp van den Berg on loan to Mainz over the summer. 

For one, Klopp knows the club, and trusts them too. The Anfield boss made his name in the Mainz dugout after all. What’s more, under the club’s latest highly-rated head coach – Bo Svensson – Mainz have consistently punched above their weight of late, securing a spot in the Bundesliga’s top half last term. 

On current form, however, a repeat of that ninth-place finish looks well beyond Svensson’s team. Whatever the reason for Mainz’s sudden malaise – a regression to the mean, perhaps, overperforming players returning to their true levels? – things certainly aren’t panning out the way Liverpool’s Sepp van den Berg wanted at the MEWA Arena. 

Liverpool Pre-Season Training Session
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool loanee still winless after seven games

The former Preston North End and Schalke loanee has featured in each of Mainz’s last seven outings, starting five of them. Svensson’s side have picked up just two points in a horror run of results, however, with Van den Berg part of a defence breached 2.7 times per game on average. 

In fact, only the even-more-hapless Koln are keeping Mainz off the bottom of the table.

“We just need a bit of luck every now and then,” Svensson sighed to SWR after Van den Berg gifted Xabi Alonso’s brilliant Bayer Leverkusen side the lead with a calamitous own goal recently. 

Van den Berg, back in September, spoke out about his determination to force his way into the Netherlands squad ahead of next summer’s European championships. 

Mainz face Bundesliga relegation battle

“Everything is feasible,” mused the Zwolle-born 21-year-old. “You sometimes see boys make so much progress within one year, and I wouldn’t rule that out either. 

“You can make very big steps in one year, and you never know how things will turn out. If I said I didn’t think about it, I’d be lying.  

SV Werder Bremen v 1. FSV Mainz 05 - Bundesliga
Photo by Marco Steinbrenner/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

“Of course that’s in the back of my mind. I certainly hope so.”

Such long-term ambitions, however, can wait. With a maiden Dutch call-up at the ‘back of his mind’, turning around the Bundesliga’s joint-worst defence should be the first – and only – priority in Van den Berg’s thinking right now.

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