Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has backed Virgil van Dijk for a strong return against Everton but insists it is odd to expect the Red’s captain to forget his serious injury at Goodison Park.
suffered an ACL injury as a result of a tackle byJordan Pickford
's 2-2 draw withEverton
in October 2020, keeping him out for the rest of the season.
Now that Van Dijk is back and nearly as good as ever, Liverpool is in terrific shape as they prepare to play Everton, who are coached by former Reds manager
When questioned about Van Dijk before Wednesday's clash with their struggling neighbors, Klopp stated that expecting no reaction would be naive.
"We're all human beings, so it's probably difficult to ignore something like that,"
"It was a situation that should not happen in football and doesn't happen very often. I can't remember one since then in any other game.
"Virgil is very experienced, and he has these situations constantly since he's been back where he's in challenges and has to be completely free of all things he could have in his mind because of one issue in his past.
"So slightly more different [against Everton] because it's in the same place, but apart from that it's just a football game again."
So much so that Van Dijk has started every single league game this season and is on track to finish the year in top form. However, the German coach believes the defender still needs time to recover that
"He came back brilliant. People are really quick if something's not exactly like it was before to say 'he's not the same anymore' and stuff like this, and this is of course not right,"
"These kind of judgments make absolutely no sense because everybody needs time to get back.
"He had a full pre-season which is absolutely helpful. His comeback was absolutely brilliant since he came back, it's been really good.
"If some things are not exactly as they have been, it's only a matter of time because of his quality, there's no doubt about that."
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