Exclusive: Liverpool make arrangements to compromise on van Dijk’s Euro 2021 hopes

Sources close to Anfield Central report that Liverpool will not stop Virgil van Dijk from playing for the Netherlands at the Euros this summer even if they’d prefer he didn’t.

At the time of writing, the Dutchman has been sidelined due to surgery on an ACL rupture for 158 days and by the time he returns to full team training, it will close to 200 days.

The talk over whether or not van Dijk will play for his country this summer started on the weekend but has now become the international break’s main topic of conversation between Liverpool fans and Holland supporters.

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 19: Virgil van Dijk of Holland celebrates 2-2 with Quincy Promes of Holland during the UEFA Nations league match between Germany v Holland at the Veltins Arena on November 19, 2018 in Gelsenkirchen Germany. PHOTO BY PETER LOUS/SOCCRATES/GETTY IMAGES.

He’s yet to be given the all-clear to return to training with his teammates and this is where the concern from the club lies. We reported on the plans Liverpool had for van Dijk at the end of February and as things stand, the rehab on his right knee is going smoothly.

If all goes well, and that’s a major if, the Reds hope to be able to give van Dijk some game time against Burnley on the 15th of May and against Crystal Palace in the final Premier League game of the season on the 23rd of May.

These aren’t set in stone and depend on how the next step in van Dijk’s rehabilitation goes which is more intensely focused on simulating the kind of impacts his knee would experience during a game with exercises like single-leg jumps.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 17: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT )Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool collides with Everton’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on October 17, 2020 in Liverpool, England. PHOTO BY JOHN POWELL/LIVERPOOL FC VIA GETTY IMAGES.

Anfield Central can report that if van Dijk comes through the next 8 weeks without any hiccups and completes any medical checks the club doctors have following the two proposed games he could play in May, they will not stop him from travelling to the Euros.

We’re told that Jurgen Klopp isn’t happy with the situation because what van Dijk really needs is a full pre-season. The compromise they’re ready to make, however, is that a member of the club’s medical staff will travel with van Dijk.

If the accompanying physio has any issues with van Dijk’s knee, Liverpool will demand he returns to Merseyside but the hopes are that it doesn’t come to that.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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