EPL

Klopp says Liverpool's injured defensive quartet 'look really good'

By Sports Desk July 13, 2021

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has offered an update on the fitness of injured quartet Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold with the latter a week from resuming full training.

Alexander-Arnold missed Euro 2020 after suffering a quad injury on the eve of the tournament and is facing a race against time to be fully fit for the start of the 2021-22 Premier League season.

Liverpool commences its Premier League campaign away to Norwich City on August 14.

“Trent was a serious enough injury but now not a major one, I would say," Klopp said. "He is close but in the moment, probably the next five or six days he has a special programme: from time to time with the team, probably from time to time by himself. But then in five or six or seven days he should be in normal team training.”

Liverpool had a defensive crisis in 2020-21 losing van Dijk, Gomez and Matip to long-term injuries but have added French centre-back Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig this off-season.

Netherlands international defender van Dijk has not played since October when he suffered an ACL injury.

Gomez has been sidelined since he underwent knee surgery in November while Cameroonian defender Matip has not played since suffering an ankle ligament injury in January.

The injured trio along with Alexander-Arnold are all with Liverpool's 34-man squad that has commenced pre-season in Austria this week.

"All four look really good, I have to say. Look really good," Klopp said.

"Now we are in constant talks with the medical department, the fitness department, the rehab department about what is right for them today: do they have to do maybe a little bit more than the rest of the group, do they have to do a little bit less?

"So, especially Virg and Joe will not have double sessions now for the first few days with the team; they have a second session of the day but it’s with Andreas Schlumberger, with the rehab department, physiotherapy, these kinds of things. That’s for these two.

"[They] look really good. I don’t know exactly when we can make the next steps but it will happen in the next four weeks, for sure – we will get a big step forward.

"Joel looks good, absolutely, he is the closest probably to normal training and then we will see when we get him started for playing."

Konate has linked up with the Liverpool squad in Austria having officially become a Red on July and Klopp said he was delighted with his addition.

“He is a good guy, I knew that before," Klopp said. "Physically, because of the situation, we met now [for] the first time here – apart from the games when we played Leipzig, obviously.

“He is a good guy, he is really happy to be here. I’m really happy to have him around. He is a young boy still, unbelievably young, but experienced already. [He] played some really good stuff in the past and hopefully even better stuff in the future."

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