Kelleher and Van Den Berg: Test of Selling Power Under Edwards

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Liverpool’s Prime Selling Levels: A Step Back to the Heady Edwards Days?

Well these two could a real test in one way. Liverpool, known for its strategic player management and sharp transfer dealings, could be on the brink of showcasing its prowess in the transfer market once again. With Sepp van den Berg and Caoimhín Kelleher potentially fetching a combined fee close to £40 million, the Reds are poised to re-establish their prime selling levels reminiscent of the Michael Edwards era. He’s not the sporting director, but it feels like a marker for him if those fees can be achieved.

Van den Berg’s Potential Departure

Photo: IMAGO

Sepp van den Berg, a promising centre-back, has two years left on his contract at Anfield. Reports suggest that Liverpool is seeking £20 million for him this summer. Van den Berg joined from PEC Zwolle in 2019 at the tender age of 17. Despite his limited appearances for Liverpool’s first team, his potential sale highlights the club’s strategic player development and market insight.

Speaking to De Telegraaf, Van den Berg reflected on his journey: “I knew that I couldn’t get from PEC Zwolle to Liverpool’s first team. I could have been at Liverpool for one or two more years, but I wanted to play with all my might. I demanded to be (loaned) out – every time because I felt that I was getting better and better. I also made great strides physically.”

He continued, “Just the whole (first) season. On the one hand, that was great. You’re 17, 18 years old, and central to the defence in training against the starting XI. You have to build up, and then Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mo Salah come running towards you. It was tough, but I enjoyed it. But in all honesty, I wasn’t looked after anymore.”

His readiness in 2021 led to a conversation with management, where he stated, “You didn’t exude confidence in me all this time, but you do want to hinder my future. I want to keep playing every week and develop myself further. In Germany, I enjoy Dortmund away with 70,000 people, Bayern Munich away against Harry Kane… Stuttgart, Leipzig, Leverkusen, against clubs like that I am challenged every week.”

Kelleher’s Future and Valuation

Photo: IMAGO

Caoimhín Kelleher, Liverpool’s talented goalkeeper, is another player who could command a significant fee. Liverpool are prepared to demand a fee in excess of £20 million to let him go this summer. The Irishman has attracted interest after serving as Alisson’s understudy, proving his worth in crucial moments. As highlighted by This Is Anfield, Kelleher’s potential departure for a hefty fee echoes the strategic sales during Michael Edwards’ tenure. Last summer, Burnley paid Manchester City £19 million for goalkeeper James Trafford, making a solid case for Kelleher’s valuation given his experience and performance.

Kelleher’s standout moments include a crucial performance in the League Cup final, where he kept out nine shots on target, helping Liverpool secure victory over Chelsea. Despite his successes, Kelleher recently told The Athletic he might need to move to become a first-choice goalkeeper: “Whether it’s here at Liverpool or somewhere else, I feel the next step for me is to be a No. 1.”

A Boost to the Summer Transfer Kitty

If Liverpool manages to secure close to £40 million for Van den Berg and Kelleher, it will significantly bolster their summer transfer kitty. This financial influx could be pivotal in reinforcing the squad, aligning with the strategic vision reminiscent of the Edwards era. David Lynch, a friend of Anfield Index, has noted the significance of these potential deals. He emphasised that achieving such high transfer fees would mark a return to the meticulous and profitable transfer dealings under Michael Edwards, who was known for extracting maximum value from player sales. Does anybody remember those chunks of change for names such as Rhian Brewster, Mario Grujic, Dominic Solanke and Brad Smith?

The Implications of Successful Sales

The success of these sales could serve as a litmus test for Liverpool’s current management, potentially indicating a resurgence of the wise financial strategies that characterised the club’s recent golden era. With strategic reinvestment, Liverpool could continue competing at the highest levels domestically and in Europe. Liverpool’s potential high-value sales of Van den Berg and Kelleher are not just transactions but statements of intent. They signify a return to a period where every transfer was a masterclass in negotiation and value extraction, a hallmark of Michael Edwards’ influence. The approximate £40 million from these deals could prove crucial in ensuring that Liverpool remains competitive, fortifying their squad for the challenges ahead. It feels like a test of whether Edmunds is truly back.

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