Jurgen Klopp says Holland would risk Virgil van Dijk’s CAREER by picking him for Euro 2020, despite the Liverpool defender posted clip of himself running on the training ground in his recovery from knee surgery
- Virgil van Dijk has been out since suffering the injury back on October 17
- Dutch defender ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in game with Everton
- It was originally hoped Van Dijk might return before end of Liverpool’s season
- But that appears unlikely despite the defender running again in training
- Jurgen Klopp has urged Holland not to pick Van Dijk for the Euros this summer
Jurgen Klopp has urged Holland not to jeopardise Virgil van Dijk’s career by rushing him back for this summer’s European Championship.
The Dutch defender has been sidelined since October with a ruptured cruciate ligament and is unlikely to play for Liverpool before the end of the season.
That’s despite Van Dijk exciting fans by posting a video of himself running on the training ground last week as he continued his recovery.
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk posted an Instagram clip of himself running in training this week – but he remains unlikely to return to action before the end of the season
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp played down hopes Van Dijk will be returning to action soon
Van Dijk, 29, is Holland’s captain but Klopp believes it is too risky to select him for the rearranged Euro 2020 tournament, which begins on June 11.
The Liverpool manager said: ‘I don’t want to hold Virgil back but you can’t force it as well. You are all long enough in the business to know that if you want to play you have to train before – and proper football training.
‘It takes weeks. Not a week before. You cannot be 10 or 11 months out, train for one week and then play football. That is not possible, it should not be possible.
‘No one is holding Virgil back – I can promise all the people in Holland that we cannot force it, and we will not.
‘We speak about a player and his career, so nobody should force it and nobody will.
Van Dijk is Holland’s captain but Klopp has urged them not to select him for Euro 2020
Van Dijk suffered horrific knee injury following reckless challenge by Jordan Pickford last year
The Reds were dealt a huge blow when van Dijk injured his ACL against Everton in October
‘Not Holland, not us and not Virgil as well. It’s just about getting as fit as possible.
‘Nobody knows at the moment when that will be exactly, but you can imagine for sure it will be very, very tight with the Euros because he is not in team training yet and will not be in the next few weeks.
‘So I don’t know. But in the end it’s a decision of Virgil and he will get massively influenced by the feeling in his knee.’
Van Dijk has been out after damaging the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee following a challenge by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on October 17.
The Dutchman has provided a number of encouraging updates for supporters in recent weeks
He has been pictured in the gym and doing some ball work as he targets a return to action
The defender required surgery and has spent time in Dubai during his rehabilitation. But initial optimism that he would return before the end of the season and prove his fitness for Euro 2020 has faded.
His absence had a major effect on Liverpool’s Premier League title defence and they are fighting to qualify for next season’s Champions League as they head to Old Trafford to play Manchester United on Sunday.
De Boer insists that the final decision will rest with the player and he needs to submit his squad list for the tournament – featuring 26 names instead of the usual 23 – by June 1.
Holland play Scotland on June 2 and Georgia on June 6 in warm-up matches before they begin their tournament against Ukraine in Amsterdam on June 13. Austria and North Macedonia also feature in their group.
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