Sepp van den Berg got his name on the scoresheet as the Netherlands under-19s got their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign off to the perfect start on Tuesday.
The Reds will see 29 players in action throughout the October break, though Jurgen Klopp was boosted as both Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah were rested.
Alisson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri are among those to remain on Merseyside, too, as they work their way back from injuries, with training set to resume next week.
Until Liverpool’s next outing, away to Man United on October 20, the focus will be on internationals, and Van den Berg was the first to take to the field from Klopp’s squad.
The 17-year-old, who has experienced a tough start to life with his new club following a £1.3 million move from PEC Zwolle in the summer, started at the back for the Netherlands U19s.
Van den Berg partnered Ramon Hendriks at centre-back, as they took on Moldova in the opening game of Group 12 in the qualifying round for next summer’s European Championship.
Also among Maarten Stekelenburg’s side was left-back Maxim Gullit, son of Dutch legend Ruud, and former Chelsea youngster Daishawn Redan, who is now team-mates with Marko Grujic at Hertha Berlin.
The clash in Latvia was a one-sided affair, with the Netherlands firing 23 shots on goal to Moldova’s four, and it was reflected in the final scoreline as they ran out 5-0 victors.
Wouter Burger got the first goal in the 26th minute, before Van den Berg netted a simple effort just after the half-hour mark to double the lead.
Joshua Zirkzee added a third from Redan’s assist after the break, before creator turned goalscorer as Redan struck twice in three minutes to polish off a convincing win.
Van den Berg played 82 minutes, before being replaced by Mees Kreekels as the Netherlands saw the game out; Liverpool’s No. 72 could make another start against Latvia (Oct 11), though he may be saved for Israel (Oct 14).
It has been a slow transition for Van den Berg since arriving from his hometown club, though he made his first-team debut in the League Cup at MK Dons.
So far, he has made eight appearances for the academy sides, but has appeared to struggle with the pace and physicality of the game on a number of occasions, most notably in the air and in possession.
But he is a very young prospect, and this adaptation period should be expected, with high hopes remaining for Van den Berg at Liverpool.
The October break continues on Tuesday evening as Dal Varesanovic and the Bosnia & Herzegovina under-19s take on Slovakia, while on Wednesday, Curtis Jones and Rhys Williams could be in action for the England under-19s.
GO TO SOURCE