Guardiola salutes Van Dijk as ‘one of the best’ in heartfelt injury message

Jonny Whitfield

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says the Premier League, as well as Liverpool, will suffer without the presence of Virgil van Dijk.

Van Dijk is likely to be out for the rest of the season after injuring his anterior cruciate ligament last Saturday.

The injury presents a huge task for Jurgen Klopp; the Liverpool boss must play long-term without the Dutchman in the Premier League for the first time since December 2018.

And while Van Dijk’s absence could give City a lift in the title race, Guardiola would rather see the centre-back play.

“I cannot speak about how it will affect Liverpool. Jurgen can talk about this. We wish him to get well soon and have a good recovery,” the City boss told Tuesday’s press conference (via the MEN).

“I hate, I don’t like opponents losing important players for a long time.

“I don’t know him much but he looks strong so he’s going to come back well. We’ll wait for him to come back to the Premier League to make our league better because the league is better with good players on the pitch and he is one of the best.

Virgil van Dijk, Pep Guardiola

“Get well soon and all the best for him, his family and all of Liverpool.”

Van Dijk last missed a top-flight game in January 2018. As such, he has become an invaluable part of Liverpool‘s ascension to title glory.

However Klopp is now down to one recognised centre-back in Joe Gomez. Joel Matip, who has suffered with injuries in his time at Anfield, is again a concern.

As such, Fabinho is likely to step in alongside Gomez for Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Ajax.

Subscribe to TEAMtalk’s daily newsletter…

Klopp spiky over defensive situation

Nevertheless, Klopp has spoke out strongly on the situation, prompted by Jamie Carragher’s comments.

Carragher said that Liverpool must now “go big” in the winter transfer market for a top defender.

Klopp, though, insisted that Carragher was making a “mistake” with that claim.

The Reds Legend has now hit back, clarifying his original comments about Liverpool’s situation.

Read more…