Klopp provides "harsh" Van Dijk update and details expected time out

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Klopp provides "harsh" Van Dijk update and details expected time out
Klopp provides "harsh" Van Dijk update and details expected time out

Jurgen Klopp has revealed Virgil van Dijk will be sidelined for more than a month with injury and described the Dutchman's loss as a "big blow".

Van Dijk was substituted at half-time during Liverpool's abysmal 3-1 defeat to Brentford on Monday after struggling with a hamstring issue. Klopp initially thought the injury was not serious but further tests have shown Van Dijk will not be back in action anytime soon.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, the Reds' boss told reporters: "Virg was a surprise for us and a big blow. The diagnosis was pretty harsh. It's more than a month, but I hope it goes quick.

"It's hard, but for him he has played an incredible amount of games in recent years."

Van Dijk will miss Saturday's FA Cup fourth round clash against Wolves, while Liverpool have fixtures with Brighton, Chelsea and Wolves again to come in the next four weeks. Liverpool could even be without their towering defender for the Merseyside derby next month as Van Dijk faces a race against time to play in the clash at Anfield on February 13.

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Klopp will be hopeful of getting Van Dijk back playing again prior to the first leg of their blockbuster Champions League showdown with Real Madrid on February 21. He does have Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Nat Phillips to choose from to deputise for Van Dijk, but his absence will be felt amid Liverpool's indifferent form.

Klopp provides "harsh" Van Dijk update and details expected time outVan Dijk's form has been scrutinised amid Liverpool's disappointing start to the campaign (AFP via Getty Images)

Who should Liverpool use to replace Van Dijk? Have your say in the comments below.

Van Dijk has been one of the key players scrutinised for Liverpool's disappointing start to the campaign, though pundit Jamie Carragher feels the Reds defence is being exposed by gaps in their midfield.

Asked whether the midfield was Liverpool's issue, Klopp replied: "You don't start pressing here (points to head), you start pressing here (points to heart). Now I've said the midfield isn't the problem, maybe people will start blaming the forwards. But I don't want that."

Pressed on why his team were being cut open so easily by opposing teams, Klopp added: "If things like this happen, it is a general problem - not a midfield problem. Defending starts up front. The pitch is too big and the other teams too good.

"But we've known that a long time. The way we want to defend is clear. I cannot analyse a game differently when we lose or win. It has to be judged in the same way."

In positive news for Liverpool, new signing Cody Gakpo has impressed in his first training sessions since his move from PSV Eindhoven, with Klopp hopeful the forward can hit the ground running.

"He looks really promising and fit," he said. "The sessions are intense for him because they're different. I'm very positive about him. Coming from a new league is always difficult, but we expect a positive impact."

Darren Wells

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