Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk’s injury is a “huge blow” to the player and the club, but the defender will return as good as ever once he recovers from the injury. That’s the opinion of Alan Shearer, who believes the injury isn’t as damaging to a player’s career as it once was.
Van Dijk will likely miss the rest of the season after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
The defender was tackled by Jordan Pickford in the first five minutes of Saturday’s Merseyside Derby, creating a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.
He was taken away for scans on his knee, and initial fears were later confirmed when the club announced he had indeed injured his ACL.
The announcement means he will miss the majority of Liverpool’s season, and the club refused to put a date on his targeted return.
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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will now be tasked with organising his team and finding a way to replace Van Dijk at the back, and has been tipped to rely heavily on his attacking firepower in the team.
At 29 years-of-age, Van Dijk will be 30 when he returns to full fitness, and there have been question marks raised over what condition he’ll be in when he finally comes back.
But Shearer believes the defender will be as near to his best as he could possibly be once he has completed his rehab.
Writing in his column for The Athletic, the former Newcastle striker explained that while it’ll be a significant blow to the Reds’ chances of retaining the Premier League title, the injury won’t impact Van Dijk’s career long-term.
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“First things first, this is a huge blow to Van Dijk and Liverpool,” he wrote. “They’re both going to suffer.
“Across the Premier League, this has been a peculiar start to the season in terms of scoring and conceding goals.
“Liverpool have not been immune to that madness, but the Dutchman is not only the best defender in the world, he’s also the glue that holds his team together.
“He is a massive presence and they will only miss him.
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“The good news is that Van Dijk will be back as good as ever, as quick and as sharp and proficient.
“An anterior cruciate ligament injury is no longer career-threatening as it was in the 1980s and before.
“I came back from mine and immediately had the best three goalscoring seasons of my life.
“I still have to manage my right knee with stretches and weights to keep it strong, particularly in winter when the cold gets to it, but since the operation, I’ve never had a problem.”
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