Dutch legend Marco van Basten has pleaded with Jurgen Klopp not to block Virgil van Dijk’s route to the Euros.
Van Basten believes Van Dijk should be allowed to link up with Holland’s squad this summer – even if he fails to play for Liverpool again this season as he battles to recover from a cruciate ligament injury.
Van Basten himself became his nation’s hero at Euro 88, despite an eight-month injury absence battling an ankle problem for AC Milan that eventually ended his career.
And he believes Van Dijk’s participation in the delayed tournament would benefit the Reds.
Van Basten said: “If Virgil van Dijk goes with Holland to the European Championships in June and is going to train himself up to his peak strength then he will be able to play a few matches.
“That will benefit the player but also his club.
“Virgil will be in his best shape for Liverpool and Klopp because he will be playing at the top level for the start of next season.”
Klopp is unlikely to rush his £75million defender back unless his team is able to pull off another Champions League miracle by overturning a 3-1 quarter-final deficit when Real Madrid visit Anfield on Wednesday night.
But Holland are refusing to give up on Van Dijk after being pitched against Ukraine, Austria and North Macedonia in the Euro draw.
Should Klopp let Van Dijk feature at the Euros even if he doesn’t play for Liverpool again this season? Have your say in the comments.
It is 33 years since Van Basten started the tournament that defined his career on the bench.
But he scored a hat-trick against England in Holland’s second game – and then blasted home a famous volley in a 2-0 win over the Soviet Union in the final.
Dutch coach Frank de Boer is receiving regular updates on Van Dijk’s progress – and is refusing to rule his skipper out.
De Boer said: “Virgil is doing high-pace running and slalom stuff.
“He is not training with the team yet but everything is going according to plan.
“Virgil is at a crossroads right now. Yes or no for the Euros?
“As national coach of Holland I can imagine that Liverpool are not in the mood to let him play.
“Their attitude is ‘why take the risk?’ But if Liverpool can make it to the final of the Champions League, that could be the first match back for Virgil.
“I don’t think Liverpool want to risk him for trying to get the fourth spot in the Premier League.”
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