Another major setback for Jurgen Klopp with senior Liverpool star’s injury ‘worse than first feared’

Thiago, Andy Robertson and Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool Credit: Alamy
Thiago, Andy Robertson and Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool Credit: Alamy

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has yet more problems to overcome amid reports defender Virgil van Dijk is facing a spell on the sidelines due to injury.

Liverpool are enduring a tough season. They have had to deal with injuries to several important players, including forwards Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota. This has badly affected Klopp’s plans and the way Liverpool perform on the pitch.

The Reds sit sixth in the Premier League, 16 points behind leaders Arsenal after playing the same amount of games.

They have been in decent form since the end of the World Cup break, beating Aston Villa and Leicester in the league after Manchester City knocked them out of the Carabao Cup.

However, Liverpool took a big step backwards on Monday. They went through a defensive horror show during a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Brentford.

Van Dijk started at centre-back in that game. But he was replaced by Joel Matip at half time after feeling a problem in his hamstring.

During a post-match interview with beIN SPORTS, Klopp played down the injury by saying: “Virgil felt the hamstring a little bit. He said he is fine, but when I said we don’t take any risks, the physios were quite happy with that.

“I think it is nothing serious, but that’s why we changed him. In the other two positions, we wanted to have fresh legs and different skillsets.”

Concerning update on Virgil van Dijk fitness

Liverpool fans will have been happy with Klopp’s calm response to the Van Dijk substitution. The manager appeared to suggest Van Dijk could be available for upcoming matches.

However, there has now been a big update on the Netherlands star. According to The Times journalist Paul Joyce, Van Dijk is ‘facing a spell on the sidelines for Liverpool’. This is because his injury is ‘worse than first feared’.

There is no suggestion of how serious the hamstring issue is, or when Van Dijk will return. But it looks like Klopp will have to do without him in the next few matches.

The Reds play Wolves in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, before coming up against Brighton and then Chelsea in the league.

Klopp will be desperate to get Van Dijk back in the side for the Chelsea clash on January 21. While Graham Potter’s side are not in blistering form, they do still have big threats including Kai Havertz, Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount.

But if the recovery is not that quick, then Klopp will likely have to select Matip and Konate at the back versus Chelsea.

Liverpool supporters would not normally have too much concern about this. However, Konate endured a terrible night against Brentford.

He registered an own goal and was pushed off the ball by Bryan Mbeumo in the build up to the Bees’ third goal.

Klopp will need Konate to perform a lot better during Van Dijk’s absence if Liverpool are to get back to winning ways.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have been told a world-class player would love to move to Anfield, as long as the club submits a bid.

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