Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp insists that Virgil van Dijk’s return from serious injury should not be rushed in any way this summer.
Van Dijk has been out injured since Jordan Pickford’s horror challenge on the defender in the Merseyside derby back in October. The Dutch international defender is now back doing some light jogging and will continue his rehabilitation over the coming months.
Klopp was recently quizzed on Van Dijk’s potential availability to play for the Netherlands in this summer’s European Championships. Klopp said:
“Virgil’s knee. Look, I don’t want to hold him back, but you cannot force it as well.
“Now let’s just go through all these kind of things. You are all long enough in the business to know if you want to play a tournament, you have to train before – proper football training weeks before, not a week before.
“You cannot after 10, 11 months out, train a week and play football. That’s just not possible, it should not be possible.
“Nobody holds him back, I can promise all the people in Holland or wherever. But we cannot force it as well and we will not. We speak about a player and his career.
“Nobody should force that and nobody will – not Holland, not us, and [not] Virgil as well. He just tries to get fit as quick as possible.
“In the moment, nobody knows when that will be exactly but you can imagine it will be for sure very, very tight with the Euros and the team training and stuff like this because he is not in team training yet and will not be in the next weeks. So, I don’t know.
“But in the end it’s a decision of Virgil and he will get massively influenced by the feeling in his knee.”
There may be some friction between Liverpool and the Netherlands this summer if the Dutch want to rush Van Dijk back into action. And, with Van Dijk being the best defender in world football, it’s likely his country will be willing to take a risk with his injury to get him on the pitch to further their chances of success.
Here’s hoping that Van Dijk gets all the rehabilitation time he needs and then can enjoy a full preseason, supervised by the Liverpool medical staff so he’s fit and firing for the start of the 2021/22 campaign at Anfield.
For the most in-depth tactical and statistical analysis regarding Liverpool FC, sign up now! The original home of Pressing Stats, Anfield Index also brings you the latest views from club legends such as Jan Molby.
Hear from the UK’s top journalists, managers, professionals, sports scientists, physios, and sports psychologists as we bring you the ultimate LFC fan experience provided on approximately 30 podcasts every month for our AI:Pro listeners!!
Enjoy all this and more for just £4.99 per month at Anfield Index Pro!!