How Liverpool can copy Chelsea’s Mason Mount loan trick and reap rewards with Sepp van den Berg
The Reds have given the on-loan defender the green light to play against them for Preston in the Carabao Cup and it seems the right decision.
Parent clubs usually baulk at the suggestion of allowing their loanees to play against them.
Why would we allow the opposition to be stronger and have the advantage? That's usually the argument.
Certainly, in league matches, there's no chance of the loan club having the player they've borrowed be available.
Even in cup games, that's often also the case.
However, Liverpool are making an exception for Sepp van den Berg for Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup fourth-round trip to Preston North End.
The centre-back is currently garnering experience at Deepdale, scoring two goals in 17 appearances for the Championship side so far this season.
Van Der Berg has made four outings for the Reds during his fledgling career - and now prepares for the biggest game of his life, against his employers.
Assistant boss Pep Lijnders believes this is the sort of challenge the 19-year-old needs if he's to progress at Anfield in the future and it'd be wrong to not allow him the chance.
Repeating Chelsea’s decision
Having given Preston the green light, Liverpool will be hoping to reap the rewards similar to how Chelsea did a couple of years ago.
Mason Mount is now one of the star men at Stamford Bridge, as well as for England.
In the 2018-19 season, the midfielder was sent to Derby to aid his progression along with team-mate Fikayo Tomori.
With Frank Lampard at the Pride Park helm, the Rams were drawn against Chelsea in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.
It was the pair’s toughest test to date and they both came out of the encounter with immense credit.
Mount particularly caught the eye, sliding a brilliant ball across the face of goal to assist Martyn Waghorn's 27th-minute equaliser. He then went close with two efforts in the second half.
Tomori might have scored an own goal after just five minutes but he responded emphatically against a potent attack that contained Alvero Morta and Willian.
Having helped Derby reach the play-off final that campaign, both returned to the Londoners the following season and were thrust straight into the first-team frame.
Mount has only got better and better, so much so that he's been nominated for this year's Ballon d'Or after helping Chelsea win the Champions League last term.
Tomori might have left the Blues during the summer but he earned the club a cool £25 million when sold to AC Milan.
They were two prime examples of how the loan system can benefit - and Liverpool will hope to yield the same results.
A good performance from van Den Berg could convince Jurgen Klopp that he can be part of his Anfield plans down the line.
And even if he’s not able to achieve that, he could at least boost his price tag and put himself in the shop window.