After playing in the Netherlands’ quasi-competitive Nations League match against Germany last week, Virgil van Dijk was returned to Liverpool, with manager Ronald Koeman eager to let everybody know it was because he’d played with broken ribs.
That, in fact, the centre half had been playing with broken ribs since picking up an injury against Paris Saint-Germain in September. One imagines Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp won’t have been thrilled with that fact having been made public.
In any case, it appears Liverpool and Klopp weren’t happy with Koeman about something based on the Dutch manager’s explanation when asked why he rested another Liverpool player, Gini Wijnaldum, for the friendly against Belgium on Tuesday.
“Maybe Mister Klopp is now very happy,” Koeman said, jokingly shrugging off the question while acknowledging that their had been some tensions this week between Liverpool and the Dutch national team. “I hope I am back in the good books.”
While it’s less than ideal that Van Dijk’s injury was made public, with Liverpool’s schedule looking a little lighter over the next month than it was over the previous one there should be opportunities for the player to rest and complete his recovery.
And with Dejan Lovren back fit and Joe Gomez impressing in the early going this season, it wouldn’t be a shock if Van Dijk doesn’t start against Huddersfield on Saturday.