Netherlands boss more buoyant than Klopp as he offers Van Dijk insight

Date published: Wednesday 3rd February 2021 8:37 - Jonny Whitfield

Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez Liverpool

Netherlands manager Frank de Boer has admitted that he is hopeful that Virgil van Dijk will be able to participate in the European Championships.

Van Dijk remains on a long-term rehabilitation programme after seriously injuring his knee in October.

Klopp has faced several questions over the defender’s progress in recent months. However, he made a concrete admission in Tuesday’s press conference that he is unlikely to return this season.

Nevertheless, his return date could fall in between the end of the domestic campaign and Euro 2020.

Therefore, De Boer is hopeful – after following the 29-year-old‘s progress closely – that he could make the international tournament.

“It’s going to be close for Virgil. He is working with so much energy,” the manager told De Telegraaf (via Sport Witness).

“If you see what he does… In my time, you were only allowed to kick in the pool.

“If Virgil does not suffer a setback and if it [recovery] goes a little faster than expected, he must be able to make it to the European championship opening against Ukraine on June 13th.

“He’s very important to our team, on and off the pitch.”

Van Dijk, Netherlands’ captain, has made 34 appearances for his country since his 2015 debut.

As such, he would prove a big miss for his nation if he did miss Euro 2020.

Indeed, De Boer only has to look at the problems caused by his absence for Liverpool. The Reds have lost a vital leadership and organisation presence, as well as a top defender.

What’s more, amid further injuries to Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have stepped back.

This has caused Jurgen Klopp‘s team to lose vital midfield qualities they have enjoyed in recent seasons.

Klopp hoping for Van Dijk miracle

Virgil van Dijk TEAMtalk

Klopp said of Van Dijk in his press conference: “No doctor told me there’s a chance for Virgil to play again this season. I don’t want to say it’s impossible but it’s not likely.

“I think we have space for Virgil on the Champions League list. If we have space for it, then Virgil will be on the [Premier League] list.

“If there is no space, we have to make a decision. If he is on the list it is only because we hope for a miracle – that is it.”

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