Mirror

Virgil van Dijk has already hinted at his Liverpool replacement as injury fears confirmed

Mirror logo Mirror 18/10/2020 20:19:57 Rich Jones

Virgil van Dijk is facing up to the prospect of not playing again this season after suffering ACL damage against Everton.

Van Dijk is facing surgery and a battle to return this campaign after being injured in a challenge by Jordan Pickford in Saturday's dramatic Merseyside derby.

The loss of the imperious Dutchman leaves Jurgen Klopp in need of a rethink as he aims to cope without his star defender over the coming months.

But Van Dijk has already highlighted "outstanding" team-mate Fabinho as a player more than capable of stepping into the defence.

Fabinho stepped into the role alongside Van Dijk in their clash with Chelsea at the start of the season, keeping big-money signing Timo Werner quiet.

And Van Dijk was full of praise for the Brazilian after the game as he made it clear to Klopp he rates him as a centre-back.

Virgil van Dijk talking on a cell phone: Virgil van Dijk will face months out as he undergoes knee surgery © Pool via REUTERSVirgil van Dijk will face months out as he undergoes knee surgery

"Outstanding," Van Dijk said of Fabinho's display against Chelsea.

"I just told him as well I think he was Man of the Match. To keep out a striker like [Timo] Werner and don't let him score, overall he was outstanding.

"Everyone knows how good he is but it shows also that we need everyone. We are a bit unlucky with the injuries now but we'll need everyone back because it's such a long season."

Fabinho standing next to a football ball: Virgil van Dijk has praised Fabinho for his contributions at centre-back © Action Images via ReutersVirgil van Dijk has praised Fabinho for his contributions at centre-back

Fabinho previously stepped in for Van Dijk when he was suspended for a Champions League clash with Bayern Munich last February.

After a 0-0 draw, Klopp highlighted how they were able to cope without Van Dijk with Fabinho in his place.

Asked how important the return of Van Dijk was after suspension last February, Klopp said: When asked how important it was to have Van Dijk back, Klopp said: "Very. Like he always is.

"But the most important thing is that we didn't miss him as much as a lot of people expected us to because we defend as a unit.

"Of course it is really good to have him back. It is the first time in weeks that we have to make a choice between midfielders, full-backs and even centre-backs if you think about Fabinho.

"It is great to have him [Fabinho] as an option for both positions. His natural position is in midfield but because he can play at centre-half it makes him an unbelievably valuable player for us."

18. lokakuuta 2020 23:19:57 Categories: Mirror

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