Virgil van Dijk expected to return to action before season's end 8 months ago

Virgil van Dijk expected to return to action before season's end

Liverpool have not (yet) signed any defensive cover

Virgil Van Dijk is expected to return to action for Liverpool before the end of the season, according to the Star.

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Liverpool's defensive leader has been sidelined since October, when he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the Merseyside derby in a clash with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Joe Gomez joined Van Dijk on the treatment table shortly afterwards, suffering a serious knee injury on international duty. Since then, Jurgen Klopp has had to deploy Fabinho as a makeshift centre-back alongside one of Joel Matip or youth prospects Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips. Occasionally, their defensive depth has been so light, Jordan Henderson has stepped into the back four.

Van Dijk has spent a lot of his rehabilitation in Dubai, working at the famous Nad El Sheba Sports Complex.

He has kept fans updated on his progress with regular posts on his Instagram channel, showing him hard at work in the gym.

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Last week, the Dutchman posted two photos captioned, 'the hard work continues.'

And the hard work appears to have paid off, as he targets at April return, according to reports.

Medical staff within the Dutch national team set-up have supposedly told manager Frank de Boer that he should plan for Euro 2020 with Van Dijk as part of the squad.

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Sadly, the same cannot be said for Joe Gomez, who looks set to miss another international tournament through injury. Gomez missed the 2018 Champions League final and the 2018 World Cup after picking up an injury late in the season, and the year delay to Euro 2020 means he will likely have to sit this one out as well.

Van Dijk's availability for Holland depends on whether he returns to action for Liverpool. The Reds don't want their star player being thrown into a tournament if he has not got back to a sufficient level of match fitness.

Liverpool have been linked with various centre-backs over the past few days as short term options, including Arsenal outcast Shkodran Mustafi and West Ham's Issa Diop. At the time of writing, they have not agreed a deal for any new arrivals.