Klopp categorically rules out early returns for sorely missed Liverpool duo


Jurgen Klopp says he does not expect Liverpool defenders Virgil van Dijk or Joe Gomez to play for their countries at Euro 2020 this summer.

The Reds boss said he was planning for the centre-backs, who have been out with serious knee injuries for several months, to be available for pre-season training in July and has been given no indication they could be ready sooner.

Van Dijk, Gomez and Joel Matip will not feature in the remainder of the club’s campaign having been injured in October, November and January respectively.

“It is not my decision but to be honest the information I have at the moment is that it will be unlikely,” said Klopp of any potential summer international involvement.

“So (it’s) not that I don’t let them go, because I don’t want to have to do that anyway, it is because of the extent of the injuries.

“We all hope they will be ready to start pre-season with us, that’s what we all hope. With Joel it is pretty much the same.

“These are really serious injuries and it is now not about talking about which competition they play.

“I am always open for positive surprises and they all of a sudden turn up in team training – but no-one told me that.

“The two of them look better than Joel as he is still in what looks like ski boots. Joe is not running, Virgil is already running but this is a real tough one.

“We will be completely over the moon when they are ready to train with us for the start of pre-season but the Euros, I didn’t think about it.

“When do you have to be back to be ready to play in the Euros? The week before? The day the Euros start? I don’t know.

“I understand maybe the need of that but we cannot make this decision and we will not. They will be fit when they are fit.”


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Klopp discusses Kabak, Davies

In the meantime, Liverpool are having to rely on other options at the back. In January, they brought in Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies to bridge the gap.

Kabak joined on loan from Schalke with an option to buy and has taken on a role of responsibility. But injuries of his own have prevented Davies from debuting yet.

Klopp has denied that he is using the rest of the season as a test to see if Kabak and Davies will have longer-term futures at the club.

“There’s no test now, or whatever. It’s not a testing period for the long-term future and stuff like this,” he told reporters.

“We will see, I hope they will stay fit. I cannot sit here and give guarantees for these kind of things.

“I heard nothing different so far so I think they will be available and they looked good. If they are physically ready to go again, which I hope, then why should we change it?

“That’s clear, we want to have consistency that we never had. They looked really good and hopefully they can play a lot of games, if not all of the rest.”

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