Liverpool: Virgil van Dijk unlikely to return from injury for Merseyside derby
The Merseyside derby on Monday is likely to come ‘too soon’ for Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk to return from injury, according to expert Ben Dinnery.
The Lowdown: Van Dijk injured
After being forced off at half-time in Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat away at Brentford at the beginning of January, Jurgen Klopp confirmed Van Dijk would be out for at least ‘a few weeks’.
The centre-back has recently taken to Instagram to share an update on his progress, posting stats of a fitness session he was involved in, after what transpired to be a hamstring injury ended up being worse than first feared.
The Latest: Dinnery’s update
In an interview with GIVEMESPORT, Dinnery claimed that next week’s Merseyside derby against Everton will be too early for the Dutchman to make a return.
The injury expert said: “I would suggest that the Merseyside derby on Monday is probably going to come a little bit too soon for him.
“I think, realistically, Jurgen Klopp would want more time on the training pitches for him, so it could be the game after that where he makes his return.”
The Verdict: Disappointing news
Hailed as ‘outrageous’ by Jonathan Woodgate (via The Mirror), it is no secret how important the 31-year-old is for Klopp’s side, ranked by Sofascore as their best-performing centre-back in the Premier League this season, averaging a 7.01 match rating.
Liverpool fans: Klopp in or Klopp out?
In the absence of the 6 foot 5 titan, the Reds have looked shaky defensively, going two goals down inside 12 minutes against Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend, with Joel Matip being rated as the worst player on the pitch.
While Liverpool should not need Van Dijk to beat Everton, given the disparity between the teams in the league table, Klopp will still be disappointed that one of his best players is not back to full fitness yet, and the hope will be that he can return for the tough trip to Newcastle United a week on Saturday.