Jurgen Klopp admits it will be a ‘MIRACLE’ if Virgil van Dijk plays for Liverpool again this season… and says Takumi Minamino was allowed to join Southampton on loan because playing under Ralph Hasenhuttl ‘made sense’
- Liverpool host Brighton in the Premier League on Wednesday evening
- Jurgen Klopp has said Virgil van Dijk is unlikely to play for the rest of the season
- Van Dijk has been out since October after injuring his anterior cruciate ligament
- Klopp has also revealed why he let Takumi Minamino go on loan to Southampton
Jurgen Klopp has admitted Virgil van Dijk needs a miracle to play again this season as he explained why Takumi Minamino was allowed to join Southampton.
Van Dijk has been out since October 17, when he damaged his anterior cruciate ligament against Everton.
The Netherlands international has been in Dubai since Christmas working with his own personal trainer and his rehabilitation is going smoothly.
Jurgen Klopp has said it would be a miracle if Vigil van Dijk was to play again this season
Van Dijk’s season was ended by a rash challenge from Jordan Pickford in October
There were suggestions over the weekend that Van Dijk could play as soon as April but that has never been remotely possible and while Liverpool – who signed central defenders Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies on deadline day – will keep him on their squad list, Klopp isn’t expecting to us him.
‘I don’t know where these things are coming from,’ said Klopp. ‘No doctor really told me that there is a chance for Virgil to play in this season again. I don’t want to say that is absolutely impossible but it is not likely.
‘We don’t have to discuss these things really. If we have space, we will put them all on (the squad list) even when all the medical people tell us there is no chance. We put them on because we believe in miracles from time to time.
Takumi Minamino was loaned out to Southampton the last day of the transfer deadline
‘But if there is no place then we have to consider these type of things and say the chances are not too big so we have to make a decision. But if they are on the list then it is only because we hope for nearly a miracle. That is it.’
Neither Kabak nor Davies will be involved in this evening’s fixture against Brighton but stressed it was essential Liverpool completed those deals, particularly after it emerged Joel Matip will also be out for the rest of the season after damaging his ankle ligaments.
The names of those signings were a surprise but perhaps the most eye-catching business on deadline day was allowing Minamino go to the South Coast on loan; Klopp said he took responsibility for not giving the Japan international more time on the pitch.
Klopp believes Minamino is in safe hands at Southampton with Ralph Hasenhuttl
‘Takumi is an incredibly good player and we didn’t give him enough chances that is the truth,’ said Klopp. ‘Sometimes it was just due to size because of our problems in defence we were not tall enough and with Takumi on the pitch – how can we do that?
‘Defending set pieces is a very important part of the game. In some moments these kind of things make the difference on why one player plays and the other does not.
‘There were not a lot a clubs where I thought it made sense to let him go to, but Southampton made sense.’
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