Hammer blow for Liverpool as Van Dijk suffers hamstring injury

Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk could be set for an extended spell in the treatment room according to numerous reports with his hamstring injury believed to be worse than initially feared.

The 31-year-old Dutch international was withdrawn at half-time during the Reds’ dismal 3-1 reverse at Brentford on Monday evening, and though his manager, Jurgen Klopp, had initially played down fears about a possible a layoff for van Dijk, a stint on the sidelines now looks probable.

The news is certain to dampen the already gloomy mood at Anfield and now Liverpool face tackling the back end of the campaign without their best defender.

Van Dijk injury a significant blow to Liverpool

Widely recognised as one of the best players in the world in his position, Virgil van Dijk’s fitness record had been exemplary for Liverpool before Monday and the centre-back had been an ever-present figure at the back for the Reds in the Premier League, starting 100% of their 17 fixtures in the division since the summer.

When van Dijk was taken out of the firing line at Brentford, it was believed that the substitution was a cautionary measure at first, however, news about the extent of his muscle injury is starting to surface.

In the aftermath of the Reds’ loss to the Bees, Jurgen Klopp didn’t show too much concern about the injury, saying “Virgil felt a little bit the muscle and said it is fine, and he is a very good judge of these kinds of things. But I didn’t want to take any risks. The physios looked quite happy when I said we don’t take risks. It’s not an injury, he just felt the intensity.”

However, the picture has now shifted considerably. Van Dijk’s importance to Liverpool cannot be understated and when they played an entire season without the defender in 2020/21, they endured a nightmare campaign filled with shock defeats in the league and early exits from every cup competition.

The full extent of van Dijk’s hamstring complaint has yet to be revealed, however, it looks as though he could be out of action for a number of weeks ahead of a crucial period for Liverpool.


Liverpool face tough run without van Dijk

With van Dijk expected to be a spectator, Liverpool host Wolves in the FA Cup third round on Saturday at Anfield before they head south for a tricky-looking test at Brighton in the Premier League.

Graham Potter’s Chelsea are the Reds’ opponents after that, while a Merseyside derby against Everton, and a date with high-flying Newcastle are also on the horizon.

Also looming large is Liverpool’s Champions League double-header with Spanish giants Real Madrid – a two-legged tie that would be all the more difficult to navigate without the defensive skills of Virgil van Dijk.

Van Dijk Liverpool

Who could replace van Dijk in Liverpool’s XI?

In Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate, Liverpool have two reliable performers ready to form a partnership in van Dijk’s absence, though the drop off in quality beyond that pair is stark.

Joe Gomez has looked nervous when called upon to play this term, and while alternative option, Nat Phillips, is always committed to the cause, he is short of the kind of quality that his other defensive counterparts at Liverpool possess.

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