Jurgen Klopp praises Virgil van Dijk after “darker moments” during injury battle

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk missed the majority of the 2020-21 seasons after sustaining a serious knee injury in the Merseyside match against Everton, October 2020.

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Jurgen Klopp previews Tottenham clash

Liverpool’s ability to set new goalscoring records is no surprise. This season, the focus has been on Liverpool’s attack.

Villarreal’s victory in the comeback set a new club record of goals scored in one campaign. They had 139 goals across all competitions from 2021-22. That is remarkable considering their rich history. Yet for many, it is their defensive resilience which has underpinned the Reds’ historic quadruple campaign.

Alisson still holds the Premier League record for keeping clean sheets, and has shut out all of their remaining games. They can also beat the club record of 34 clean sheets in one season with 31 matches played in all competitions. This was achieved on four occasions previously.

Alisson is of course a huge part of that, but as Spurs visit Anfield on Saturday evening, with their formidable strike force of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min threatening to derail Liverpool’s title express, it is Virgil van Dijk who will take centre stage… for good reason.

A year ago, he had just announced that he wouldn’t play in the Euros for his nation Holland, such was the severity of a cruciate ligament injury that had kept him out for virtually the whole of his team’s difficult 2020-21 campaign.

Yet after being sidelined for 10 months with the crippling injury, van Dijk is back better than ever… and his manager Jurgen Klopp insists that is because of the mental strength the defender has shown.

Following this challenge from Jordan Pickford, Virgil van Dijk sustained a severe knee injury.


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How has Virgil van Dijk fared since his knee injuryWe’d love to hear from you in the comments!

“In situations like this there are always different reasons. The first is the surgeon, but No 2 is the player,” Klopp explained. “There were darker moments in that period when he was not really over the moon about the situation and we were not.

“It wasn’t because someone made a mistake. But because he wasn’t there, he needed some time to escape from everything. He made it through all of that.

“He was back immediately but all the rest as well, if it was that easy [to get back to top level performance] then a lot more players would be world class as well. It’s not easy. But he came through that as well. Here we go [knocks table], long may it continue!”

Van Dijk previously spoke about the “very emotional, very tough”It was a mental battle that he had to overcome to get back his composure, but his stats for this season show that he has reached the level of world class he once was.

The Premier League has had 21 clean sheets, 19 goals conceded and 192 recoveries. It also saw 30 interceptions, 100 clearances, 192 recovery and 100 clearances. In addition to 140 duels won and 113 aerial fights won. For the visit of Kane or Spurs, he will need to be at his very best.

Klopp rates them one of the most dangerous strikers in the league. “They have speed like crazy up front. Harry Kane, what a player, and there is a blind understanding between them. Tottenham has massive quality.

Jurgen Klopp is happy to see Van Dijk at his best


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“They have some of the best counter attacking players in the world and we need to find solutions for that. This is the most difficult protection challenge we’ve faced in a long time.

“Each mistake you make, you have to be high up the pitch because that is where you score the goals but when you lose the ball you have to be immediately around all of them.

“That is difficult. That is just football. We have to find a way to be as calm as possible, because it is not possible all the time.”

Klopp is certain of one thing. His side must win. Because he expects Manchester City will bounce back from their Champions League shock exit.

“They are too good (not to bounce back). Yes, it is a massive blow. I think everyone was ready to switch the television off and then all of a sudden part two started. That was really harsh I can imagine,”He stated.

“I have had nights like this, it is not cool. The next morning is not enjoyable but the next moment you realise, ‘Ok we cannot change that any more so we have to focus on Newcastle on Sunday.’ They will be ready.”

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