Holland hopeful Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk can make Euro 2020 squad after ‘giant steps’ in rehab

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

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 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

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.’

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Jurgen Klopp begs Holland not to risk Virgil van Dijk’s career by picking him for Euro 2020

Jurgen Klopp begs Holland not to risk Virgil van Dijk’s career by picking him for Euro 2020 after Liverpool defender posted clip of himself running on the training ground as he continues recovery from knee injury that has kept him out since October

  • Virgil van Dijk has been out since suffering the injury back on October 17
  • Dutch defender ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in game with Everton
  • It was originally hoped Van Dijk might return before end of Liverpool’s season
  • But that appears unlikely despite the defender running again in training
  • Jurgen Klopp has urged Holland not to pick Van Dijk for the Euros this summer 

Jurgen Klopp has urged Holland not to jeopardise Virgil van Dijk’s career by rushing him back for this summer’s European Championship.

The Dutch defender has been sidelined since October with a ruptured cruciate ligament and is unlikely to play for Liverpool before the end of the season.

That’s despite Van Dijk exciting fans by posting a video of himself running on the training ground last week as he continued his recovery.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk posted an Instagram clip of himself running in training this week – but he remains unlikely to return to action before the end of the season 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp played down hopes Van Dijk will be returning to action soon

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp played down hopes Van Dijk will be returning to action soon

Van Dijk, 29, is Holland’s captain but Klopp believes it is too risky to select him for the rearranged Euro 2020 tournament, which begins on June 11.

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.

Van Dijk is Holland's captain but Klopp has urged them not to select him for Euro 2020

Van Dijk is Holland’s captain but Klopp has urged them not to select him for Euro 2020

Van Dijk suffered horrific knee injury following reckless challenge by Jordan Pickford last year

Van Dijk suffered horrific knee injury following reckless challenge by Jordan Pickford last year

The Reds were dealt a huge blow when van Dijk injured his ACL against Everton in October

The Reds were dealt a huge blow when van Dijk injured his ACL against Everton in October

‘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.’

Van Dijk has been out after damaging the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee following a challenge by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on October 17.

The Dutchman has provided a number of encouraging updates for supporters in recent weeks

The Dutchman has provided a number of encouraging updates for supporters in recent weeks

He has been pictured in the gym and doing some ball work as he targets a return to action

He has been pictured in the gym and doing some ball work as he targets a return to action

The defender required surgery and has spent time in Dubai during his rehabilitation. But initial optimism that he would return before the end of the season and prove his fitness for Euro 2020 has faded.

His absence had a major effect on Liverpool’s Premier League title defence and they are fighting to qualify for next season’s Champions League as they head to Old Trafford to play Manchester United on Sunday.

De Boer insists that the final decision will rest with the player and he needs to submit his squad list for the tournament – featuring 26 names instead of the usual 23 – by June 1.

Holland play Scotland on June 2 and Georgia on June 6 in warm-up matches before they begin their tournament against Ukraine in Amsterdam on June 13. Austria and North Macedonia also feature in their group.

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