It appears that we can rule out the worst-case Virgil van Dijk scenario. Liverpool reportedly hold long-term plans for the defender.
We didn’t really talk about it when Virgil van Dijk underwent surgery but there was a worst-case here.
What if he never came back the same player?
It’s the outcome we really didn’t want to think about. His injury hurt the season badly but it could also hurt Liverpool long-term. There is no way to replace the Dutchman, after all.
And if you can’t replace Van Dijk, all you can do is wait and see if he recovers okay. There’s little else to do – if he’s not the same, you’re going to be a worse team. That’s it in a nutshell.
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Fortunately, it appears Liverpool will avoid all that.
Fabrizio Romano tells CBS Sports that Liverpool plan on renewing Van Dijk’s contract. They’ll apparently make their offer to him soon.
That should be music to the ears of everyone associated with the club. There is quite simply no way that Liverpool would consider making that offer if they had long-term doubts.
Instead, they’d wait until Van Dijk returned to action and go from there.
Doing it now is the biggest hint yet that Van Dijk will be fine once he’s back. This season is a write-off, of course, but the 29-year-old is still a long-term option for Liverpool.
And that was no guarantee! Van Dijk turns 30 ahead of next season. Even one injury-affected year means he’ll probably never reach his peak again.
From there he’d be 31 and on a steady decline as a player.
So this contract talk gives us great hope. Liverpool appear prepared to invest in Van Dijk long-term from what they’ve seen post-injury.
We can all rest easy, then. Van Dijk should still be the dominant force Liverpool paid £75m for.