Klopp guarded over Van Dijk’s Liverpool debut

Date published: Thursday 4th January 2018 3:43 - Matthew Briggs

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says he is no rush to throw new boy Virgil van Dijk into the action against Everton.

The centre-back signed from Southampton on January 1 for £75million and with the German boss likely to make changes for Friday’s FA Cup tie at home to Everton, Van Dijk was expected to get some game time.

Klopp though says he has not decided yet whether Van Dijk will feature against Sam Allardyce’s men.

Klopp claimed he will not severely weaken his line up despite the hectic run of fixtures, but he will be without the injured Mo Salah and Philippe Coutinho.

Klopp said: “Mo and Phil are not available so it is not possible. With Virgil it is different, he is obviously healthy and I have to make a decision for this game,” said Klopp.

“I can imagine everyone is desperate to see him on the pitch but from our point of view there is no rush and it is much more important how many good games he can play for us. It’s not decided yet.”

Loris Karius will start in goal with Simon Mignolet given the weekend off as third-choice Danny Ward will be on the bench.

The Wales international spent a successful season on loan at Huddersfield last year but has been restricted to one appearance in the Carabao Cup defeat at Leicester back in September.

That does not mean he – or any of his under-used team-mates – are primed for loans this month.

“Loris will play. I am pretty sure Wardy is sub, which means Simon has a little break,” said Klopp.

“Danny is a young, very skilled goalkeeper with a lot of potential which means space for improvement and we are quite desperate to build on that together with him.

“There is enough to do for all of the boys so there is no rush in that and we cannot help other clubs before we help ourselves.

“It will be a line up which shows all the respect we have for the FA Cup,” added Klopp.

“It will be the strongest line-up, for sure.

“We were capable of winning trophies in my 1st season, 2nd season we didn’t do so well in the cup competitions. We don’t waste opportunities, we want to be as successful as possible.”

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