Liverpool appear to have huge trust in Virgil van Dijk as he prepares to return from injury. That’s going by their reported transfer plans.
Virgil van Dijk hasn’t played since October after a serious knee injury. That’s certainly concerning heading into next season when Liverpool will want him to lead them back to major trophies.
Even more concerning is that both Joe Gomez and Joel Matip suffered serious injuries, too. That puts even more pressure on Van Dijk.
After all, he’s the one in his prime. Matip has been winding down over the last year or two after a series of problems.
And Gomez is still young – the England centre-back hasn’t reached his prime years, yet.
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But putting pressure on Van Dijk isn’t exactly ideal. For one, he may never return the same player. Not everyone does after missing a season with a serious knee injury.
Add that Van Dijk has always relied on elite athleticism and that he’s nearly 30. Suddenly, things are worrying.
Liverpool, then, have to bring someone in this summer. They need at least one player they can trust to be fit in case any of other three suffer a reoccurance.
But it’s tougher than that. The vast majority of this Liverpool team are leaving their prime. Van Dijk, Matip, Jordan Henderson, Thiago, Gini Wijnaldum, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are all either 30 already or hit that mark by mid 2022.
Liverpool will want to take advantage of that fact by making the most of those stars. That means being as strong as possible next season.
The easiest and best way that happens is for Van Dijk to be fully fit but as we say, there’s a chance he isn’t. And Liverpool have the chance to mitigate that risk with their transfer plans.
Only, it seems they won’t.
Liverpool trust Van Dijk
The Sunday World claims Liverpool want to sign two defenders – Ibrahima Konate and Ozan Kabak. They’d put up around £42m to make that happen.
It’s particularly notable that both are very young, relatively inexperienced players at 21.
Neither are really in a position to lead Liverpool to glory next season. Instead, the Reds would need an experienced star back there.
They have a chance to get one, too. AS claim that Real Madrid won’t put up much of a fight as Raphael Varane looks to leave.
That’s a World Cup, La Liga, and multi-time Champions League winner available at a discount price with one year left on his contract. If Liverpool want to win now, there’s no better signing.
Instead, they look to secure their future in defence. That only makes sense to us if Liverpool have absolute faith and trust that Van Dijk will fully recover to his best next season.
And that, perhaps, gives us another reason to be excited for Kabak and Konate.