Liverpool News

Virgil van Dijk Unsure on Return Date; Promises Liverpool Will Fight for Premier League Title

By Amreen
Virgil van Dijk returned to action for Liverpool against Hertha Berlin
Virgil van Dijk returned to action for Liverpool against Hertha Berlin / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has admitted he is unsure when manager Jurgen Klopp will clear him for Premier League action as the new season fast approaches.

The defender returned against Hertha Berlin last week after spending almost the entire of last season sidelined after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in October. And as he eases back into action, Van Dijk has claimed the club is being cautious over his return, and there still appears to be some way before he is passed fit for competitive duty.

"I'm doing well. It's obviously been a tough pre-season, coming back from such a long time (out) to be playing and training with the boys again is a big thing," he told the club's official website.

"After the (Hertha) game, I was empty, drained. I'd played 20 minutes but it wasn't because of the game, it was because of everything that had happened the whole week and the whole day. We are in close contact with Andreas (Kornmayer, head of fitness and conditioning) making sure we are giving the right feedback: we have to be honest with ourselves, and that's how we are where we are at the moment.

"The same goes now for Thursday; I've heard we'll play at least 30 minutes, but it could be maybe longer, and then we just build it up. We have another friendly which I am looking forward to at Anfield, of course, at the weekend or on Monday, one of the two, so I will get more minutes then if things go well. Then the league will start. At the end of the day, it's all about what the manager wants and we will see how it progresses."

Liverpool finished third last season, and Van Dijk has promised fans that the Reds will fight for the league title in the upcoming season. He added: "It is going to be a tough one with teams that are improving all around us, trying to compete to become champions of the Premier League. So are we - we want to be up there again.

"We have the quality - that is obvious - we were just very unlucky with injuries last year. The base layer of success (is) to have that right team spirit. Then it's all about what happens on the pitch in that 95 minutes. If we are doing it all together, pressing together, defending together, as we always want to do it, we always have a good chance to get a good result. That's the focus we should have and I am confident that will happen."