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Matthijs De Ligt offers positive outlook on Virgil van Dijk’s injury return


Matthijs De Ligt has offered an encouraging assessment of international teammate Virgil van Dijk as he continues to work towards a return from injury.

The Liverpool defender is hopeful of proving his fitness in time to play a part in Netherlands’ Euro 2021 campaign, and could even yet feature for his club side before the end of the season.

Van Dijk is unlikely to be involved in any competition before May at the earliest, though there is no guarantee he will be fit for the summer tournament.

However, De Ligt suggested his fellow centre-back was on the right track after bumping into him on international duty.

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“We had a meeting, [Van Dijk] was there too,” the 21-year-old said.

Matthijs De Ligt said Virgil van Dijk was in good spirits as he continues his rehab from injury
Matthijs De Ligt said Virgil van Dijk was in good spirits as he continues his rehab from injury

“He looked very good, he seemed very fresh and free. Of course, I don’t know how he feels physically, he doesn’t really want to put any pressure on himself either.

“He has a clear mind and looks at it day by day. He is calm and wants to see where he’s at, at moment the Euros are starting.

“I think it’s important for him to be calm, and to be able to recuperate from his injury without any pressure from us or from the country.

“He will decide if he will be at the Euros. If he’s there, he’s there. If he’s not there, other guys will have to fill his shoes. But he looked well.”

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van Dijk has been training out on grass as he ramps up his recovery in a bid to make the Euros
van Dijk has been training out on grass as he ramps up his recovery in a bid to make the Euros

Liverpool have largely kept details of van Dijk’s injury under wraps, but Netherlands boss Frank De Boer revealed he has another two months to go before he can get back on the pitch.

“We know he has eight weeks left. I don’t know if that’s enough,” De Boer said.

That would give van Dijk only one or two fixtures at most for Liverpool before their campaign comes to an end, before just a couple of weeks preparation for the Euros.

“I have spoken to him, he is back on the field. There can always be setbacks. A week or two of setbacks could mean he can’t play games for Liverpool [this season],” De Boer added.

“Then I can imagine that they say: ‘Nice and nice, but you just focus on next season’.

“Ultimately, he must have a good feeling himself. I’m glad he’s on the right track.”





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