In a season marred with injuries, Liverpool are hoping their missing men can make a full return heading into next season as they look to reclaim the Premier League title. One such man whose absence has been felt throughout this season is central defender Virgil van Dijk.
The Dutchman has missed virtually all of this season after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee after a collision with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the first Merseyside derby of the season last October.
The Dutch international has since been working tirelessly in rehab to ensure a quick return to the squad. The defender has been very active on social media in the last few months trying to provide as much hope as possible to fans by regularly posting videos of his injury status. A recent video posted on his Twitter page has given fans something to smile about as van Dijk looks to have returned to pitch training.
Virgil van Dijk is still training alone and was not seen training on the ball but this recent Twitter post is a sure sign the Dutch colossus is nearing a return to the Liverpool squad. With four months before the new season starts, barring any major setbacks, Virgil van Dijk will be available for selection for that first Premier League game next season.
The central defender's injury has not just left a massive hole in terms of quality but also for his leadership. Injuries to players such as Joe Gomez also, have forced Liverpool to paper in the cracks the best way they can and to the credit of Ozan Kabak and Nathanial Phillips, the future could look bright in regards to competition when it comes to playing beside van Dijk.
Although a return looks imminent, fans will be hoping van Dijk's return will be later in the summer rather than sooner as he hopes to play for the Netherlands in the delayed Euro 2020 campaign. This is understandable as van Dijk was captain for his country before his injury and given his age and his country's World Cup hopes currently wavering, the defender feels representing Oranje in the Euros could be his last chance in a major international competition.
Since his arrival at Anfield in January of 2018, the Dutchman has proved his quality and lived up to his reputation in spades. The 29 year-olds contributions at the back have contributed massively to Liverpool's recent success not just individually but also enhancing the performance of his defensive partners.
Fans will be weary of Virgil van Dijk playing in the Euros but until it is known for certain, fans must take time to rejoice that their defensive linchpin is closer than ever to returning after a tough season for the Reds.