Premier League: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp offers update on Virgin van Dijk's fitness
Jurgen Klopp offered an update on Virgin van Dijk's fitness on Friday ahead of Liverpool FC's crucial Premier League clash with Manchester United. ...
Jurgen Klopp offered an update on Virgin van Dijk's fitness on Friday ahead of Liverpool FC's crucial Premier League clash with Manchester United.
Liverpool are set to travel to Manchester on Sunday to take on second-placed United and Klopp confirmed that his side has not had any fresh injury ahead of Sunday's Old Trafford game.
In a conversation with Liverpool's media, Klopp described van Dijk as being 'in a good way' as he continues his rehabilitation programme, but admitted Liverpool's side-lined players still have a lot of work to do before they can begin team training. The other players that have been out of action due to injuries are van Dijk's defense partners Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
On being asked about van Dijk's fitness situation, Klopp said,"I don't have enough English words to describe the same thing more often. Yes, he is running - Hendo is running, Joe is running, Joel is running. That's all good; imagine they wouldn't be able to run in the moment, that would be really bad.
They are running and in rehab, it always starts with straight-line running; I'm not sure if you saw Virg running a lot of curves or just straight, so there are a lot of things to come. You go through a lot of steps until you are finally ready to join team training, especially with long-term injuries - there are a lot of steps to go and they are all quite away from that. It means nobody told me, 'Fasten your seatbelt, make yourself ready, the boys will be in team training next week.' No, nothing changed really, but they are in a good way," the German boss further added.
The Dutch defender van Dijk posted a video to his social media accounts on Thursday showing the latest strides in his recovery from the knee injury that has sidelined him since October. Van Dijk suffered an ACL injury during the Merseyside derby at the Goodison Park last October in the underway Premier League season.
Speaking in a pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp also spoke about Liverpool's financial situation if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.
"Playing Champions League obviously is massive, especially from a financial point of view, for the club. So if we cannot make that then it's not good, definitely not. But I don't think it will change anything [in terms of his squad for next season]. The situation was difficult before and it will be difficult after," Klopp was quoted by Goal, as saying.
Klopp has never won at Old Trafford as Liverpool manager since his arrival at Anfield in 2015. On being asked how important Sunday's game was, Klopp, replied," More than 100 per cent! Without winning football games, we will not end up in any kind of European competition. It's clear, we have to win. He added: "If you are a Liverpool player or manager, this is the game where you have to give absolutely everything. Is it the best place to go after conceding a late goal against Newcastle? I don't know. Is it the best place to go after watching them score five goals in a half [against Roma] last night? I don't know. It's not important really, we just have to make sure we are really ready for it."