EPL

Klopp unsure over Van Dijk return despite 'very promising' rehabilitation

By Sports Desk January 20, 2021

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp provided a promising update on Virgil van Dijk, but he remains unsure when the star defender will return for the Premier League champions.

Van Dijk underwent surgery on his knee in October after suffering a serious injury in the Merseyside derby against Everton.

The Netherlands international has been missed by Liverpool, who are fourth and six points adrift of rivals Manchester United ahead of hosting Burnley on Thursday.

Klopp was upbeat about Van Dijk's rehabilitation, but he is unsure when the 29-year-old might return.

"He looks really good," Klopp told a news conference.

"I spoke this morning to him on the phone, he is in a really good mood so it's all very promising but I don't know when he will be back.

"There are for sure a lot of stages still to go over or to pass, whatever, that's clear. I had this injury myself.

"For the time we are in and for how long he is out now, how long the rehabilitation is going on, he looks really, really promising."

Since Van Dijk's Premier League debut for Liverpool in January 2018, Klopp's men have won 72 of 95 games with him in their side.

That win percentage of 75.8 drops to 50 in the 14 league games in which Van Dijk has been absent.

Liverpool have also averaged more goals for (2.3 to 1.9) with Van Dijk, and also conceded more with him (0.8 to 0.6) than without him.

Klopp's side, however, have struggled for consistency so far this season and head into their clash against Burnley on a four-game winless run in the league.

Related items

  • PSG women's head coach Olle-Nicolle suspended over alleged 'inappropriate behaviour and remarks' PSG women's head coach Olle-Nicolle suspended over alleged 'inappropriate behaviour and remarks'

    Paris Saint-Germain women's head coach Didier Olle-Nicolle has been suspended following allegations of "inappropriate behaviour and remarks".

    The French club announced in a statement on Tuesday that Olle-Nicolle will not be involved in team duties while an internal investigation takes place.

    Olle-Nicolle, 61, has been in charge since July 2021.

    "Paris Saint-Germain has been made aware of inappropriate behaviour and remarks that members of its Women's Team have been exposed to," a PSG statement read.

    "These remarks and events, if confirmed, would be incompatible with Paris Saint-Germain’s sporting and human values.

    "Paris Saint-Germain is taking this situation seriously and intends to bring to light the reported events and remarks.

    "In order to protect the interests of all parties, the coach of the Women's Team has been suspended today, in agreement with Paris Saint-Germain. 

    "This is a fair and temporary measure. It will not prejudice the internal investigation that will be undertaken, nor impact the decisions that the club may be led to take."

    PSG are second in the French top flight and host leaders Lyon, who are five points better off, in their penultimate game of the campaign on Sunday.

    They won the French Cup earlier this month and also reached the last four of the Women's Champions League, where they were eliminated by eventual champions Lyon.

  • Klopp pips Guardiola to LMA Manager of the Year award Klopp pips Guardiola to LMA Manager of the Year award

    Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has pipped Manchester City's Pep Guardiola to the League Managers Association's (LMA) Manager of the Year award.

    Klopp masterminded a superb second half to the Premier League season, yet it was not enough to overhaul City, who claimed the title on a dramatic final day of the campaign on Sunday.

    The Reds went the entire season unbeaten at home, doing so for a joint-record fifth time in the Premier League. 

    Liverpool have also excelled in cup competitions under Klopp this term, having won the FA Cup and EFL Cup.

    They will complete a cup treble on Saturday if they overcome Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Paris.

    Reflecting on the dramatic final day, which saw City score three goals in the space of five minutes to beat Aston Villa 3-2, Klopp said: "It was a bit nervy, it wasn't the best outcome for us, but we are already over it.

    "And when you win a prize like this you are either a genius or you have the best coaching staff in the world. I am here with four of my coaching staff, and they know how much I appreciate them."

    It is the second time Klopp has claimed the award, which is combined with the Premier League Manager of the Year award, after the German was recognised in 2020 for leading Liverpool to the title.

    Eddie Howe, Patrick Vieira and Thomas Frank, of Newcastle United, Crystal Palace and Brentford respectively, were also up for the award.

  • French Open: 'He made his mark on the sport' – Federer, Djokovic and Nadal pay tribute to 'charismatic' Tsonga French Open: 'He made his mark on the sport' – Federer, Djokovic and Nadal pay tribute to 'charismatic' Tsonga

    Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have paid tribute to the "charismatic" Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after the 37-year-old brought his 18-year professional career to a close.

    Tsonga, who reached a career-high ranking of world number five in 2012, confirmed in April that he would retire at the culmination of his French Open campaign.

    That duly came in the first round on Tuesday as he bowed out to world number eight Casper Ruud 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 7-6 (7-0).

    He retires having won, according to Opta, 464 Tour-level matches since September 2004.

    Tsonga is one of just three players, along with Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro, to have beaten Nadal, Federer and Djokovic while they were ranked world number one.

    He is also one of three players, alongside Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych, who have defeated Nadal, Federer and Djokovic at grand slams.

    A video tribute was played on court after his defeat to Ruud, which featured messages from the sport's most iconic players.

    Federer said: "I wanted to congratulate you on an amazing career and it was a pleasure to share the court with and play against you, even to lose against you!

    "We had some great battles. Enjoy the moment in Paris with all your friends and family, in front of all your adoring spectators."

    Djokovic added: "Jo is one of the most charismatic tennis players ever to play the game. I was very happy to share the court with him many times.

    "We get along well and he's a really nice guy. He brought a lot of positive attention and popularity to our sport not just because of his dynamic game style, but also his charisma and his personality, so it's a big loss for professional men's tennis to have him retire.

    "I wish him all the best, and he definitely should be happy about his career and his achievements. He's made his mark and his legacy in our sport."

    Nadal said: "He is very charismatic. I've known him since we were kids; he is a good guy and I think he brings a lot of positive things to our sport so I'm sad to see him going but we are getting old so it's going to happen for everyone."

    Speaking at a media conference after his defeat, Tsonga said he would now spend some time relaxing before focusing on the development of his tennis academy.

    He said he will miss the adrenaline of playing on court, as well as how he was able to express himself completely when competing.

    "It's adrenaline, to step onto a big court like this one," he said. "It's adrenaline you can feel when you have 15,000 people shouting out your name, supporting you on the court.

    "This is what I'm going to miss – the contact with the crowd. And with those who have been supporting me for all these years.

    "You know, in real life, it's sometimes difficult to be intense. You don't want to shock, you don't want to be too rude, you don't want to hurt somebody.

    "You always try to act to be nice, to be sociable. But, you know, on the court, you can express your fever. You can express everything about you, and it's sometimes freeing."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.