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Virgil Van Dijk is the latest Liverpool player to go down with a substantial injury, with the Dutchman set to miss at least a month of action after injuring his hamstring in the 3-1 defeat to Brentford on Monday night.
The 31-year-old was substituted off at halftime, with many people assuming at the time that he was hooked due to his poor first-half performance. After the game, manager Jurgen Klopp fueled this theory further by stating that his star centre back wasn’t injured and had just “felt the intensity” of the game.
It has now transpired, though, that the Dutch captain did suffer an injury at the weekend. In his pre-match press conference ahead of the Reds’ FA Cup match against Wolves, Klopp confirmed that Van Dijk is set to miss at least a month of action. He said:
“Virgil was a surprise to us. It was a big blow. He didn’t feel a lot. I took him off, but it was clear that maybe he would have tried to play on. The diagnosis is pretty harsh – we talk about weeks, more than a month but I hope it goes quick.
For now, he’s not available, that’s how it is and we have other centre-halves. Everything is okay for the team but for Virgil, it’s hard for him. He’s played an incredible amount of games over the years. We cannot use him on the pitch but off the pitch, we will do that.”
A bad time to get injured
Although there is never really a “good time” to get injured, Van Dijk’s injury arguably comes at the worst possible time for Liverpool. Defeat at Brentford has left them seven points behind Manchester United in fourth place, leaving their chances of Champions League football next season in real jeopardy.
If Van Dijk is out for the next six weeks then he will miss five Premier League matches and potentially two FA Cup ties should Liverpool beat Wolves on Saturday night.
Most notably, he would miss potential crunch games against Newcastle United and Chelsea, as well as the Merseyside derby on February 13th. Barring any setbacks on his road to recovery, he should be back in time for the resumption of the Champions League in late February.
A debut for Gakpo?
Although there’s bad news for one Dutch international, there’s also some positive news for another. New signing, Cody Gakpo, is in line for his Liverpool debut with Klopp confirming that the 23-year-old is in contention to start.
“He will be involved in the squad, f course. How exactly we will have to decide in the next few hours, but that’s fine.
Cody has been in two full training days n and is a joy to watch, to be honest. In our situation with injuries to the strikers, it’s really nice to have on the pitch who is pretty natural in a lot of things and knows where the goal is. He is obviously full of joy, enjoying each second at the moment.
He looks really promising and fit. The sessions are intense for him because they’re different. I’m very positive about him. Coming from a new league is always difficult, but we expect a positive impact.”