Statistics Explain Jurgen Klopp’s Concerns About Virgil van Dijk
Jurgen Klopp has treated the resumption of Virgil van Dijk’s playing time with extreme caution, in contrast to the five other players who withdrew from the World Cup ahead of schedule.
In the midst of Liverpool’s training camp in Dubai and subsequently their loss to Man City in the League Cup, Jurgen Klopp oversaw the readaptation of five of his players who had participated in the World Cup.
Darwin Nunez made his way back onto the squad in the United Arab Emirates and began the game versus City on Thursday night at the Etihad Stadium. Jordan Henderson and Fabinho were both limited to substitute appearances. In the meantime, Alisson and Trent Alexander-Arnold have been participating in training throughout the whole week, with the latter only needing to turn up in the middle of the week owing to an illness that prevented him from participating earlier.
It was a more slow process for Van Dijk, who played centre defence for the team that was eliminated by the Netherlands in the quarterfinals. The central defender did not return to training until Wednesday.
According to the Press Association and BBC Sport, the reason for this is because Van Dijk has played the third most minutes for both his club and his country this season, which places him in third place among all of the other players in the Premier League.
Only Tottenham’s Harry Kane (2,735) and Hugo Lloris (2,708) have been on the field for more minutes during the first half of the season than the Liverpool defender (2,698).
However, Alisson still sits in fourth place on the list with 2,544 points, despite the fact that the main reason for his absence this week was the fact that Caoimhin Kelleher was chosen to be the goalkeeper for the League Cup.
Klopp voiced his concerns about the overuse of players in a “very tight” schedule during the pre-match press conference he had on Friday before the game against Aston Villa. On Boxing Day, the team was scheduled to play against Aston Villa.
According to what he told the press, “the entire year will be tremendously demanding” for the players who had significant playing time during the World Cup.
“They still have three or four games left on their calendar, which is already very packed. It is extremely, extremely, extremely challenging.
“We’ll have to see how we handle this, and we’ll be extremely careful with all the information we get, but things should be fine for the time being,” you said. “We’ll have to see how we handle this.”
It is anticipated that Van Dijk will make his comeback to the lineup for Monday’s match against Villa, most likely with Joel Matip, who participated in the entirety of his first game back against City and played the full 90 minutes.
On the other hand, Ibrahima Konate won’t be able to catch up with the rest of his Liverpool teammates until after their trip to Leicester on the 30th of December. The Frenchman, who was instrumental in their victory against Argentina in the championship game, will resume his training following Villa.