Jurgen Klopp has warned the Dutch national team against rushing back Virgil van Dijk in time for the postponed Euro 2020 but added that he won’t hold the defender back from participating. The former Southampton center-back has been out of action since October after suffering a knee injury.
Virgil van Dijk’s injury has affected both Liverpool and the Dutch national team with the center-back out of action since October. It has seen the Reds fall well off the title race and even the race for the top four although they’re slowly finding their way back into the game. But Van Dijk’s absence has been a key reason for Liverpool’s struggles with them not helped by losing Joe Gomez as well.
However, for the Dutch national team, the center-back is a key part of Frank de Boer’s plans for the team at the postponed Euro 2020 even if he still hasn’t returned to full training. It has seen Jurgen Klopp admit that while he or Liverpool won’t hold Van Dijk back from participating, but forcing him to play in the Euros doesn’t make sense. The Liverpool boss also added that it is not possible for the defender to play in a tournament after spending 10, 11 months out injured.
"Virgil's knee. Look, I don't want to hold him back, but you cannot force it as well. Now let's just go through all these kind of things. You are all long enough in the business to know if you want to play a tournament, you have to train before – proper football training weeks before, not a week before. You cannot after 10, 11 months out, train a week and play football. That's just not possible, it should not be possible," Klopp said, reported Goal.
“Nobody holds him back, I can promise all the people in Holland or wherever. But we cannot force it as well and we will not. We speak about a player and his career. Nobody should force that and nobody will – not Holland, not us, and [not] Virgil as well. He just tries to get fit as quick as possible. In the moment, nobody knows when that will be exactly but you can imagine it will be for sure very, very tight with the Euros and the team training and stuff like this because he is not in team training yet and will not be in the next 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," he added.