Netherlands boss Frank de Boer says Virgil van Dijk has eight weeks to go in his recovery, but he is not “counting on him” for the delayed European Championships.
The Liverpool centre-back has been missing since October with a serious knee injury he suffered against Everton. Van Dijk though has stepped up his recovery in the past few weeks, working outside on Liverpool’s training pitches. As such, hope remains that he could land a role with the Netherlands at this summer’s delayed European Championships.
Indeed, the Daily Mirror reports that Van Dijk wants to make a beeline for the international tournament. Much to the horror of Klopp, who has always urged caution and has never put a timescale on the Liverpool talisman’s return.
The Liverpool boss is simply hoping that Van Dijk will be back for pre-season and cast doubt on the defender’s hopes of playing at Euro 2020.
Klopp said recently: “It is not my decision but to be honest the information I have at the moment is that it will be unlikely.
“So [it’s] not that I don’t let them go, because I don’t want to have to do that anyway, it is because of the extent of the injuries.
“We all hope they will be ready to start pre-season with us, that’s what we all hope. With Joel it is pretty much the same.
“These are really serious injuries and it is now not about talking about which competition they play.”
Now though Dutch boss De Boer has spoken about the chances of Van Dijk playing for Holland this summer.
“We know he has eight weeks left. I don’t know if that’s enough,” De Boer said.
“I have spoken to him, he is back on the field. There can always be setbacks. A week or two of setbacks could mean he can’t play games for Liverpool [this season].
“Then I can imagine that they say: ‘Nice and nice, but you just focus on next season’.
“Ultimately, he must have a good feeling himself. I’m glad he’s on the right track.”
No pressure on Van Dijk
The Netherlands kick off their tournament against Ukraine on June 13 and De Boer says an appearance from Van Dijk would be a “bonus”.
“Anything he can contribute to Liverpool and possibly us would be a bonus. I’m not counting on him right now,” added De Boer.
“But if he did [make it], it would be fantastic for the selection,
“We will see. I’m not putting any pressure on him at all. He must do it himself and must have confidence in it himself. The choice mainly lies with him.
“When the moment comes and we know how he is doing, [we will] agree with him what he can do. Then I have to make a decision about it.
“We now let him work on his recovery calmly. It is now going well. We don’t know whether that is enough.”