Netherlands manager Frank de Boer speaks up about Virgil Van Dijk‘s chances of playing at Euro 2020 shortly after his Premier League club manager claim that the midfielder is unlikely to play again in 2020-21 due to his injury. In October, van Dijksuffered knee ligament damage, which required surgery, in the stalemate Merseyside derby after a dangerous tackle from Jordan Pickford.
The 29-year-old led Netherlands to an impressive Euro 2020 result last year and ended their self-inflicted exile from major tournament football, having failed to reach Euro 2016 or last year’s World Cup. In a 0-0 draw away to Northern Ireland, the Dutch team secured a top-two finish in Group C. They needed just a draw to guarantee a spot at its first international tournament since the 2014 World Cup.
Speaking to a news outlet, De Boer said he was hopeful that the Dutch captain could feature at the Euros in June: It’s going to be close for Virgil. He is working with so much energy. If you see what he does. In my time, you were only allowed to kick in the pool,” De Boer said. Van Dijk helped the Oranje win six of their eight games of their qualifying campaign, two points behind Germany at the top.
“If Virgil does not suffer a setback and if it [recovery] goes a little faster than expected, he must be able to make it to the European championship opening against Ukraine on June 13th. He’s very important to our team, on and off the pitch,” De Boer added. According to reports, The Liverpool star is working seven days a week, to be fit as he now “targeting” April for his return to action.
Earlier, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp gave an update on Van Dijk’s condition during a pre-match press conference. “In the moment, I don’t know where these things are coming from – nobody really, no doctor, nobody really told me there’s a chance for Virgil to play in this season again,” Klopp revealed. “I don’t want to say that’s absolutely impossible but it’s not likely. It’s not likely.”
According to reports, the Anfield side have already told Holland’s national squad that their skipper will not play in the continental tournament unless he plays for the Reds before the end of the campaign. This is contradictory to FIFA’s rules but Dutch chiefs understand they would face big compensation demands if the defender was injured on duty without playing in red first.
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