Virgil van Dijk has to decide himself whether he is fit in time for Euro 2020 finals, insists Holland boss Frank de Boer – who hints Liverpool star ‘has made giant steps in his rehabilitation’ from serious knee injury
- Virgil van Dijk remains a big fitness concern ahead of this summer’s Euros
- The Liverpool star has been out since October with a ruptured cruciate ligament
- Jurgen Klopp urged Holland not to jeopardise his career by rushing him back
- But Frank de Boer is still hopeful the Dutch centre back will be fit for the Euros
Frank de Boer is hopeful Virgil van Dijk will make Holland’s Euro 2020 finals squad but admits it is completely the player’s decision whether he will be ready in time.
Liverpool star Van Dijk has been sidelined since October 17 with a ruptured cruciate ligament following a challenge from Jordan Pickford during the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park in the Premier League.
The Dutch centre back has returned to very light training for Liverpool but it it still unknown when he will return ahead of this summer’s eagerly-anticipated Euros.
Virgil van Dijk is stepping up his recovery having not played since October 17 for Liverpool
Frank de Boer will be desperate to have Van Dijk fit for Euro 2020 finals but won’t force him
De Boer has since urged caution but remains optimistic that he could have Van Dijk available for the Euros.
‘I think he has to decide, it is his career,’ the Holland boss told ESPN just over a month before the Euros gets underway.
‘I can imagine that he is in a dilemma. Can it mean something for Oranje? I hope he has made giant steps in his rehabilitation.’
De Boer’s latest comments surrounding his captain and star defender come after Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp urged Holland not to jeopardise his career by rushing him back.
The Holland boss (centre) admits he is hopeful Van Dijk has made giant steps in his rehab
The Liverpool manager said: ‘I don’t want to hold Virgil back but you can’t force it as well. You are all long enough in the business to know that if you want to play you have to train before – and proper football training.
‘It takes weeks. Not a week before. You cannot be 10 or 11 months out, train for one week and then play football. That is not possible, it should not be possible.
‘No one is holding Virgil back – I can promise all the people in Holland that we cannot force it, and we will not.
‘We speak about a player and his career, so nobody should force it and nobody will.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp recently urged Holland not to rush Van Dijk back for the Euros
‘Not Holland, not us and not Virgil as well. It’s just about getting as fit as possible.
‘Nobody knows at the moment when that will be exactly, but you can imagine for sure it will be very, very tight with the Euros because he is not in team training yet and will not be in the next few weeks.
‘So I don’t know. But in the end it’s a decision of Virgil and he will get massively influenced by the feeling in his knee.’