While Liverpool’s U23s head to Birmingham to take on Aston Villa in the League Cup, the senior side has jetted to Qatar to prepare for the Club World Cup and the opportunity to be officially named best in the world.
And in training, people quickly took note of two missing players, as Gini Wijnaldum—who picked up an injury on the weekend—and Virgil van Dijk—who hadn’t, as far as anyone was aware—sat out the Reds’ first session in the Gulf petrostate.
“Gini was not as serious as we thought, so he’s here doing the first recovery and then we have stuff what is necessary,” Klopp noted when asked about the two players. “We will see day by day but tomorrow night he’s not involved.
“Virgil is fine. We had to do different stuff for recovery for different people, so that was the reason why he was not involved yesterday in the session, but Virgil is fine. All the rest of the squad is fine.”
The assumption, when news of Van Dijk missing training had first emerged, had been that the best defender in the world was simply being given a little extra rest given his heavy workload so far this season.
It’s very much good news, though, to have that confirmed by Klopp. It’s also very much good news when it comes to Wijnaldum, who many felt would be out weeks or even months based on what appeared to be a hamstring injury.
Meanwhile, the injury timeline remains the dame for Joël Matip, Dejan Lovren, and Fabinho, with the trio all expected to be out of action until at least the new year.