Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt says that Virgil van Dijk looks “very good” as he continues his recovery from injury.
Liverpool star Van Dijk has not played since October, when he suffered a serious knee problem against Everton. His club have missed his presence and leadership greatly, the Reds slipping down the table amid poor form. What’s more, the loss of Liverpool’s other two senior centre-backs has added further pressure on the Anfield outfit.
The focus on Merseyside in recent months has shifted to how Jurgen Klopp‘s team are coping with a new-look back line.
However, debate has now emerged about whether Van Dijk will be fit as the delayed European Championships in June approach.
The defender wants to play for his country, but Klopp wants him to be fully fit for next season after a specialised pre-season regime. As such, reports have claimed that the pair on a ‘collision course’.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, though, Juventus centre-back De Ligt provided an update on his countryman’s plans.
“We had a meeting yesterday, [Van Dijk] was there too,” the 21-year-old told reporters (via AS).
“He looked very good, he seemed very fresh and free. Of course, I don’t know how he feels physically, he doesn’t really want to put any pressure on himself either.
“He has a clear mind and looks at it day by day. He is calm and wants to see where he’s at, at moment the Euros are starting.”
De Ligt added that Van Dijk’s international team-mates will not be pressuring the player to make a decision either way.
Van Dijk must decide for himself
“I think it’s important for him to be calm, and to be able to recuperate from his injury without any pressure from us or from the country,” De Ligt added.
“He will decide if he will be at the Euros. If he’s there, he’s there.
“If he’s not there, other guys will have to fill his shoes. But yesterday he looked well.”
Van Dijk has progressed well with his rehabilitation and began working outside on Liverpool’s training pitches last month.