Netherlands manager Frank de Boer has revealed when he expects Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk to return to action.
Van Dijk to return?
The 29-year-old was ruled out of action for a significant amount of time after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament during his side’s 2-2 draw against Everton in October, following a high challenge from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Van Dijk was named as the best defender in the world by AC Milan legend Franco Baresi, adding the Dutchman has provided “quality, character and strength” to the Anfield ranks since his £75m move from Southampton in 2018. (cited by Goal).
As a result, Liverpool have sorely missed his leadership at the back, having dropped a significant amount of points during the 2020/21 campaign, with six draws to their name from their first 16 games.
Speaking to De Telegraaf (via Sport Witness), De Boer believes that Van Dijk will be back in time for Holland’s Euro 2020 opener, which is June 13.
“He is busy with so much energy,” he said. “If you see what he’s doing…in my time you were only allowed to kick in the swimming pool [at this point in his recovery].
“If Virgil doesn’t get a kickback and things go a little faster than expected, he should be able to make it to the European Championship opening match on June 13 against Ukraine.
“He is very important for our team, on and off the field.”
Transfer Tavern Verdict
If this is the expected return date, then Liverpool will likely not have Van Dijk back in their team until the start of the 2021/22 campaign, which will be a huge blow to them.
That being said, the supporters and club have been fully aware of the extent of his injury, which could prompt manager Jurgen Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards to bring in a fresh defensive face this month, with Lille centre-back Sven Botman heavily linked with an Anfield move.
Time will tell how the Reds will continue to cope without Van Dijk’s presence, but the mere fact that a date has been set will at least give supporters something to look forward to.
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