Virgil van Dijk set for ‘weeks’ on sidelines, adding to Liverpool woes
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk is set for several weeks on the sidelines, according to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
“It’s not a short-term and I had longer-term injuries as well in my career as a manager. So, it’s somewhere in between. He will be out for a few weeks, definitely.”
Van Dijk, 31, subbed off at halftime of the Reds’ Monday loss to Brentford.
He had gone 90 minutes in 16 of Liverpool’s 18 Premier League matches this season, and played every minute of six Champions League matches as well as every minute of the Netherlands’ five World Cup matches and a pair of UEFA Nations League contests.
Only Mohamed Salah and Alisson have played more Premier League minutes for Liverpool than Van Dijk this season, and Joel Matip’s been limited to under 500 minutes while Ibrahima Konate is just over 200. Joe Gomez is second amongst center backs with 910 PL minutes.
The sixth-place Reds host Wolves in the FA Cup on Saturday, then it’s five-straight league matches with Brighton away, Chelsea at home, Wolves away, a home Merseyside derby with Everton, and a trip to Newcastle before a Feb. 21 Champions League Round of 26 first leg at home to Real Madrid.
Van Dijk is Liverpool’s primary ball handler, making almost 350 more passes than any other Red in Premier League play. He’s also scored two goals and won nearly 75 percent of his duels. He may no longer be a Ballon d’Or candidate but this is a big hit to Liverpool.