Liverpool defender — now on loan at Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga — outlines why he rejected Burnley move in the summer

Liverpool defender Sepp van den Berg has admitted that he decided against a loan move to Burnley as he'd set his sights higher this season.

The 20-year-old revealed that he had been in talks with the Clarets over a season-long loan move from Anfield for the 2022-23 campaign.

However, the Dutchman, who moved to the Reds from PEC Zwolle in the summer of 2019, conceded that he didn't want to spend another term in the Championship.

Speaking to Dutch magazine ELF Voetbal, Van den Berg knew that he faced another spell away from Jurgen Klopp's side, though his preference was to play at the highest level possible.

UNSPECIFIED, AUSTRIA - JULY 26: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Mohamed Salah and Sepp van den Berg of Liverpool during the Liverpool pre-season training camp on July 26, 2022 in UNSPECIFIED, Austria. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

“To be honest, I already knew during pre-season that I would be loaned out," he said. "The chance of playing time at Liverpool is of course small," he said.

“It was nice that I was on the bench for four more games in the Premier League this season. But I learn the most when I play."

The Netherlands Under 21 international, who has featured three times for the former Premier League champions in the EFL Cup and once in the FA Cup, impressed during an 18-month spell with Burnley's Lancashire rivals Preston North End.

He made more than 60 appearances in total, and a return to the division was on the cards, but he accepted a late offer from German side Schalke 04, who are back in the Bundesliga's top flight after winning the second tier title.

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 10: Sepp van den Berg of Schalke in action during the Bundesliga match between FC Schalke 04 and VfL Bochum 1848 at Veltins-Arena on September 10, 2022 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

After making three appearances this season, he said: “Over the last year-and-a-half I gained a lot of experience at Preston North End in the Championship. Just look at my shoulders. I have gained 10 kilos, only muscle mass.

“Another year in the Championship was not my preference. I spoke with Burnley, but I still wanted a step higher. The Bundesliga was my preference.”