Jürgen Klopp has announced that the defensive duo Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez will not play in the next pre-season friendly after the 1-0 triumph against Mainz on Friday.
The Reds are currently in Austria and played against Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart before taking over the manager’s former club. Luca Kilian’s own goal brought the Merseysiders victory in front of 3,500 spectators in the Untersberg Arena. The German tactician set up completely different teams in each half to give his squad as much playing time as possible.
But Van Dijk and Gomez stood out because of their absence. Both stoppers missed a sizable portion of last season.
Van Dijk’s season ended after a challenge with an Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford on October 17th. Gomez was not seen after injuring a tendon in his left knee on English duty in November.
Both were sorely missed when Liverpool’s season collapsed dramatically after the turn of the year. They have gathered to qualify for the Champions League and they need their big guns back.
But it seems like fans will have to wait a little longer to see the two center halves in action. The Anfield team will face Hertha Berlin next Thursday, but the duo will likely be spectators again.
“Yes, I would be surprised anyway,” replied Klopppp LFCTV when asked if the couple would be available. “They look really good, they do everything. They play football, we keep them training, we do what we can. You don’t do too much. “
And the 54-year-old explained why he has so far refused to give them a log on the pitch.
“We have to be patient. We are preparing for a whole season, not a pre-season game,” he added. “I won’t risk it. We have a lot of games, preparation games, but I don’t see them in the next one be included.
A lot of cover for Van Dijk
The big guns may have been on the sidelines, but it gave others a chance to shine. defender Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip, Rhys Williams, Ben Davies, Nat Phillips and Billy Koumetio all played in Austria.
But news that Van Dijk and Gomez were involved in ball work will give hope of a return. Maybe not at the start of the season.
Liverpool opened their account with a trip to Carrow Road to face newly promoted Norwich on August 14.
CONTINUE READING: Klopp takes measures that will cause the likely departure of the nomad star from Liverpool