Jurgen Klopp has promised that Liverpool will support Virgil van Dijk “like a good wife is waiting when the husband is in jail”. Van Dijk has been arguably the most influential member of Liverpool’s squad since joining the club for a fee of £75 million ($97m) from Southampton in January 2018. He shored up a leaky defence which had previously undermined the Reds’ attacking efforts under Klopp, and inspired their run to Champions League glory in his first full season at the club.
The 29-year-old also featured in all 38 of Liverpool’s Premier League matches in 2019-20 as they won the title for the first time in 30 years, and is now revered as the best centre-back on the planet by many fans and experts. Van Dijk was also playing a starring role in Klopp’s line up at the start of their latest campaign, but he is now facing a lengthy period on the sidelines after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury.
The Netherlands international had to be substituted in the first half of the 2-2 draw with Everton after being floored by a late Jordan Pickford tackle, and will undergo surgery on his knee before beginning an extensive rehabilitation programme. Klopp says the prized asset is feeling “okay” after the incident, and that he will receive all the help he needs from Liverpool’s staff throughout his recovery period in the coming months.
Ahead of a Champions League group stage meeting with Ajax on Wednesday, Klopp was also asked when Van Dijk’s operation will be pencilled in for, to which he responded: “That’s all not sorted yet.