Liverpool Jurgen Klopp has hinted at a return for Virgil van Dijk after his long injury layoffs. The Dutch defender has been out on the sidelines due to his knee injury since October last year. Van Dijk must be itching to come back on the field but the Reds must be careful with his transition.
Van Dijk missed the entirety of last season and then missed out on the European Championships with the Netherlands as he wanted to get back in shape for Liverpool ahead of a new season. Therefore Klopp has now revealed that the defender is gradually nearing his return.
The Reds are ready to take on the Bundesliga outfit, Hertha Berlin in a pre-season friendly. Before the game, the German tactician revealed that Van Dijk may come on for a few minutes as they look to evaluate his fitness condition.
“I hope, I am not sure, that there is the opportunity that Virgil could play a few minutes,” Klopp has told the club’s official website. “He looks really good in training and maybe we can bring [him in], but I need to have some final conversations. He looks ready and we will see.”
Apart from the Dutchman, Joe Gomez has also suffered a similar fate. The English centre back is out of action for nine months already after suffering a serious knee injury. While Klopp did give away any particular date of his return but feels that Gomez can return to action when the Reds take on Athletic Club next month.
“If you see the games now as part of their rehab training, that makes sense,” Klopp added. “Joey is very close. There is no race between the two of them; they had different injuries and stuff like this, but [he is] very close.
“If Virgil can play now 20 then probably Joey can in the game after. We will see. In training, they both look really good.”
While both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez will return to the field after recovering from their injuries, they now have more competition in place with the arrival of Ibrahim Konate from RB Leipzig. The French defender has a palette of skills and can be a world-beater if he realises his potential.