Jamie Redknapp has told Sky Sports podcast Pitch to Post that Virgil van Dijk could return to action as early as March due to the Liverpool defender being an “incredibly fit guy”, amid reports that his teammate Joe Gomez has sustained a similar injury.
Van Dijk, 29, has been undergoing his rehabilitation process since he underwent surgery in London last month following a long-term knee injury sustained in the Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park.
There had initially been fears that Van Dijk would be out for the rest of the season with Fabinho and Joel Matip also suffering injury setbacks all in the same month.
Now, Gareth Southgate has confirmed that Gomez is set to join Van Dijk on the sidelines – with the 23-year-old suffering a knee injury while on international duty with England. He has since returned to Liverpool to undergo a scan.
Ex-Liverpool star and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp has reacted to the injury to Gomez, as well as Van Dijk’s recovery process. He believes that the Dutchman could be back in just four months which could see Klopp resist the urge to dip into the transfer market come January.
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“It’s a difficult one. I’ve heard people say that they’ve got to go out and get a really big signing because Virgil is going to be injured,” Redknapp said, when questioned about the extent of Van Dijk’s long-term knee injury.
“But if he goes through the right rehab to get fit, he’s not going to be too far away from coming back in maybe March or April time as a guess. Normally it’s six or seven months, he’s an incredibly fit guy and he’ll be a good healer.”
What RTK has to say
Van Dijk’s rehabilitation will likely determine who and if Liverpool are to sign someone when the transfer window opens again in just 48 days time. Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams represent immediate options and will be needed again for Klopp in the coming weeks.
Liverpool, like every other team, faces a congested November and a devilish December.
The Premier League champions have 12 games between November 21 and January 2, taking on the likes of Leicester City and Tottenham, the current top-two, as well as Ajax, Atalanta, Wolves and Southampton among others.
And when January comes, surely the champions must be active in the transfer market. A new centre back is needed even if Van Dijk returns sooner than expected.
And yes, Liverpool have talented options such as Billy Koumetio and Williams, but asking a 19 or a 17-year-old to fill in for the English champions is a daunting proposition.
Koumetio is still to settle at under-23 level, let alone senior, while Williams was playing in National League North as recently as March. The jump is huge.
Also, it is worth noting how it was only just over a month ago that Liverpool were looking to sanction a move for Phillips to the Championship.
Yes, Liverpool still have options even in the absence of Van Dijk, Gomez and Fabinho yet whether or not the club choose to add further cover in January could be the difference between success and failure this season.
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