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Sport Virgil van Dijk: I will not take anything for granted ahead of return

20:06  09 april  2021
20:06  09 april  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Virgil van Dijk that is standing in the grass: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Virgil van Dijk insists he will 'not take anything for granted' as he prepares to make his Liverpool comeback after a serious knee injury.

The Dutch defender has been out injured since October when he damaged his anterior cruciate ligament damage in the Merseyside Derby against Everton.

The 29-year-old returned to the pitch as part of his rehabilitation in January and is now back at Liverpool's training ground to continue this recovery but with the European Championships approaching, van Dijk insists he will be 'true to myself' over his return.

Virgil van Dijk holding a frisbee: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk says he will 'not take anything for granted' in his recovery from injury © Provided by Daily Mail Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk says he will 'not take anything for granted' in his recovery from injury a group of men playing a game of football: The centre-back has been out injured since October after getting injured away at Everton © Provided by Daily Mail The centre-back has been out injured since October after getting injured away at Everton

Van Dijk told JBL: 'In this period of being injured, it makes you think about loads of stuff, and appreciate even more what you've got.

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'Obviously, it's not easy, but the most important thing for me is to stay true to myself and work as hard as I can.

'So, if the time comes back and I'll be back playing again, then I just have to enjoy every bit of it and try to be the best player I can be.

'I won't take anything for granted. I just work, enjoy, have a smile on my face and try to stay fit.'

a person on a football field: Van Dijk is back at Liverpool's training centre as part of his recovery from the knee problem © Provided by Daily Mail Van Dijk is back at Liverpool's training centre as part of his recovery from the knee problem

Van Dijk's absence has been a major blow for Liverpool as they surrendered their Premier League title at the first time of asking this season.


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With it now being mathematically impossible to overtake current league leaders Manchester City, the Reds are battling for a Champions League spot for next season and currently lie in seventh place - three points behind the top four.

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Liverpool are also in the quarter-finals of the Champions League but will need to overturn a 3-1 first-leg loss to Real Madrid next week at Anfield.

This season, Van Dijk was set to be a key player for not only Liverpool but also the Netherlands at this summer's European Championships - but Reds manager Jurgen Klopp claims the defender's participation at the international tournament is 'unlikely'.

Virgil van Dijk looking at the camera: Van Dijk was hoping to be part of Holland's European Championships bid later this year © Provided by Daily Mail Van Dijk was hoping to be part of Holland's European Championships bid later this year

'To be honest the information I have at the moment, it will be unlikely,' said Klopp last month about Van Dijk and Gomez's chances of playing in Euro 2020.

'Not that I wouldn't let them go but because of the extent of the injuries. It's not about talking which competition they can play in.

'As far as I know, and I am always open for positive surprises and they all of a sudden show up in training, nobody told me (they are nearly ready).

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'We all hope they will be ready to start the pre-season with us. These are really serious injuries.'

Meanwhile, former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy claimed Van Dijk will have to sacrifice his participation at this summer's tournament if he wants to achieve success with the Reds next season.

Joe Gomez et al. standing around a computer: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp hints it is unlikely that Van Dijk (left) will be involved this summer © Provided by Daily Mail Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp hints it is unlikely that Van Dijk (left) will be involved this summer

As well as Gomez and Van Dijk, Liverpool have also had Joel Matip struck on the sidelines for most of the season, with new signing Ozan Kabak, rookie defenders Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams along with midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho filling in.

The Sportsmail columnist said in March: 'Recovery means ensuring every player is fit and raring to go for the start of next season, even if they have to sacrifice their participation in Euro 2020.

'Liverpool have shown how hard it has been to cope without Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Diogo Jota and Naby Keita at different times.

'Some of them will be desperate to be involved in the Euros but there is no point in putting one tournament above longer-term health and career.

'Liverpool will have to look at the data and have mature conversations with the players because the priority has to be starting 2021-2022 in a good place.'

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