The Liverpool boss has offered news on three key players ahead of his side’s trip to Leeds United this weekend
Jurgen Klopp has addressed Virgil van Dijk’s “scary moment” with the Netherlands over the international break while giving an update on the fitness of Roberto Firmino and Harvey Elliott.
Van Dijk has slotted straight back into Klopp’s plans at the start of the season after missing the majority of Liverpool’s 2020-21 campaign through injury, starting in wins over Norwich and Burnley as well as a 1-1 draw with Chelsea.
There were some fears that he could miss the Reds’ next Premier League clash with Leeds United on Sunday after a nasty collision in the Netherlands’ latest World Cup qualifier, but Klopp has now confirmed that the defender has assured him that he suffered no lasting damage.
What’s been said?
Van Dijk played down the issue after his country’s 6-1 victory against Turkey against Tuesday, telling reporters: “I’m fine, luckily. I’m already over it. Maybe because I am so big, they think I am acting, because when I go down, it goes in quite a slow way.”
Klopp revealed the details of the conversation he had with the 30-year-old in the wake of the incident when quizzed by Liverpool’s official website on the condition of his returning international stars.
“Taki [Minamino] is already here for a while, he got injured obviously with Japan,” he said. “With Virgil, that was obviously a scary moment, you can imagine. I sent him a message after the game, ‘Are you alright?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘100 per cent?’ ‘200 per cent.’ ‘Come on, send me a video of you without limping…’ ‘I’m only limping off.’
“So he called me from the bus and said, ‘Boss, I’m fine!’ I said, ‘Why are you limping then?’ He said, ‘My wife asked the same!’ So, yeah, that was a bit of a tricky moment but apart from that, no, all fine [for the other international players].”
What about Firmino and Elliott?
Klopp went on to confirm that Elliott has shaken off the knock which saw him pull out of England’s U21 squad, but was unable to deliver good news about Firmino, who picked up a hamstring issue against Chelsea.
“Bobby is not [fit], it happened in the game [against Chelsea] obviously. Harvey is fine again,” he said.
Klopp added on whether James Milner has made a recovery from the thigh strain that kept him out of the Chelsea draw: “Millie, we have to see. Millie has to be part of team training yet, he was not part of team training so far, so we will see what he can do today. But he will get closer definitely.”