Monday, July 26, 2021
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Liverpool duo Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez unlikely to be fit for Euro 2020, says Jurgen Klopp

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Both centre-backs have been ruled out for most of the 2020/21 campaign with serious injuries sustained in the early months of the campaign, with such absences and a continued defensive injury crisis contributing massively to the Reds’ disastrous Premier League title defence.

Dutchman Van Dijk suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage in his right knee following a wild challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during October’s Merseyside derby draw at Goodison Park, subsequently undergoing surgery.

Gomez also went under the knife in November to fix a damage tendon in his left knee sustained while training with England.

Euro 2020, delayed by 12 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is due to run for a month between June 11 and July 11, with England in Group D alongside Scotland, Czech Republic and Croatia and the Netherlands placed alongside Ukraine, Austria and North Macedonia in Group B.

Both players would have surely been included in the respective final tournament squads named by managers Gareth Southgate and Frank de Boer – particularly Van Dijk, who was named as Dutch captain back in 2018.

However, while Klopp hopes Van Dijk and Gomez will be fit for pre-season ahead of the 2021/22 season, he is not expecting the duo to play any part at the Euros.

“That’s not my decision. But the information I have in the moment is it’ll be unlikely,” he told reporters ahead of Monday’s Premier League trip to Wolves.

“So, not that I don’t let them go because I don’t want to have to do that anyway, but it’s because of the extent of the injury. We hope they’ll be ready to start pre-season with us.”

Liverpool defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are both long-term absentees

/ Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Van Dijk and Gomez are not the only key Liverpool defenders lost for the season, with Joel Matip also out after suffering ankle ligament damage against Tottenham in January.

Klopp has been forced to use multiple different centre-back partnerships as a result of those repeated blows, with the likes of midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho filling in at the back and Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies both arriving in January to compete with the likes of Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams.

Providing an update on the respective recoveries of each of his long-term absentees, Klopp added: “The two of them (Gomez and Van Dijk) look better than Joel because he’s still in what looks like skiing boots.

“But he’s here as well. Joe isn’t running, Virgil’s already running, but this is really a tough one.”

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