Liverpool’s situation gets worse as Van Dijk’s injury seems serious

Premier League

Virgil van Dijk’s hamstring injury turned out to be more serious than initially thought, necessitating a period of rest.

The 31-year-old Dutch defender was taken off during the first half of Monday’s brutal 3-1 loss for Liverpool at Brentford.

After the game, manager Jurgen Klopp acknowledged that he didn’t think the situation was “serious” and that Van Dijk wanted to stay.

The Times reports that his hamstring is in worse shape than what initial examinations on Monday suggested, thus the Reds will now be without their star center-back for much longer than 45 minutes.

Van Dijk has been a constant in Klopp’s defense since the start of the Premier League season; his potential absence from games in three tournaments would be a devastating blow to Liverpool’s campaign.

In the third round of the FA Cup, the Reds host Wolves at Anfield on Saturday. On January 14, they depart for Brighton.

The next match is against Chelsea, followed by another league match against Wolves, but this time away from home.

Following that, there is the minor matter of a Merseyside derby matchup with struggling neighbors Everton.

After that, they have a challenging test away at probable championship contenders Newcastle before welcoming Real Madrid for the tantalizing round of 16 first leg on February 21.

Van Dijk will be subjected to examinations to ascertain the extent of the injury; his most recent extended absence was during the 2020–21 season when he tore his ACL and needed nine agonizing months to recover.

In contrast to the lack of available alternatives back then, Klopp has Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, and Nat Phillips to choose from to step in for the 31-year-old.

After the Reds’ defeat to Brentford, the manager didn’t appear very concerned about Van Dijk’s condition, saying:

“Virgil felt a little bit the muscle and said it is fine, and he is a very good judge of these kinds of things. But I didn’t want to take any risks. The physios looked quite happy when I said we don’t take risks. It’s not an injury, he just felt the intensity.”

In the second half, with Liverpool already down 2-0, Matip came in for the Netherlands international in West London and partnered Konate.

Former Reds player Jamie Carragher asserted to Sky Sports that the 23-year-old Konate has already supplanted the more seasoned Matip as Van Dijk’s primary partner:

“I don’t think it’s the future, I think it’s the right now.

“They’re Liverpool’s two best centre-backs, I think he was very unfortunate not to play in the World Cup final. He was brilliant in the Champions League final last season if you remember, against Real Madrid, and I think Liverpool have got a top player on their hands there, him and Virgil van Dijk right now is the best that Liverpool can go.”

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