Van Dijk’s injury seemed to push Liverpool down. It has been almost 2 months since Virgil van Dijk suffered a ligament injury. Liverpool have not failed in the Premier League yet and have won a ticket to continue in the Champions League one round early.
The injury of the Dutch midfielder is finally an opportunity for coach Klopp to explore the potential of all the personnel he has at hand. Liverpool is still very strong despite the absence of what seems to be the most important factor.
The moment of Van Dijk’s injury can be seen as the bottom of Liverpool this season. That was when he met Everton flying high with James Rodriguez in the next round. Van Dijk played 11 minutes before leaving the field after a collision with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
That was in 11 Champions League and Premier League matches that Van Dijk did not play. Coach Klopp used seven ways to arrange a rotation according to the personnel he had, only in the midfield pair.
Fabinho – Gomez and Fabinho – Matip received the most confidence when used by the German army in six matches. Two young midfielders Rhys Williams and Nathan Philipps each had two main matches.
Liverpool lost one of these matches, the remaining won 8 and drew 2. Now they are the second in the Premier League. They were equal to Tottenham’s point but lost the difference and entered the knockout round of Champions Leauge early.
It was an achievement that was not easy to imagine at the time Van Dijk was injured. Most professionals at the time two months ago cleverly said that they would decline because Van Dijk was absent.
The fact that Fabinho had to play in the midfield position at this time created new factors in the Liverpool midfield. Curtis Jones is one of the names that indirectly benefit from that.
Daily Mail stressed that Klopp had prepared his position for Curtis Jones from last season. And the English midfielder recreates the image of Steven Gerrard at Anfield with youth and high confidence.
Injuries of Van Dijk, Fabinho, Matip, Gomez are in fact the common picture of not just Liverpool. But also all the big clubs in Europe this season. The dense schedule comes with the pressure to keep the players injured.