With Leicester City’s victory over Manchester United on Tuesday, Liverpool’s barely there hopes of making the top four and salvaging something from this terrible, no good, very bad season took a rather significant hit.
However, it’s not all bad news for the Reds. Because there’s also Virgil van Dijk news. And that Virgil van Dijk news has the star centre half having decided to stay home and focus on working his way back to fitness this summer rather than heading to the Euros.
In an ideal world, of course, it would be churlish to want Van Dijk not to play for his country this summer at the Euros. Given his injury recovery timeline, though, his decision to skip it is positive for his long-term prospects.
“With everything that is going on, I feel physically it is the right decision that I’ve decided not to go to the Euros,” the player noted. “So the full focus will be on pre-season with the club and that’s a realistic goal.
“Obviously I am very gutted to miss the European Championship and leading out my own country there, but things have been like they have and I have to accept it. The decision to not go is the right decision. It’s tough, but I’m at peace with it.”
With the player confirming his decision isn’t due to any setbacks with the knee but instead is simply a case of trying to ensure he’s as healthy as possible longer term, Van Dijk will now target a pre-season Liverpool return.
He says he’s also looking out for his longer term hopes for the national team in doing so, wanting to be fully fit for the next tournament and the next round of qualifiers with another World Cup quickly approaching.
“I’m obviously not old, but I am quite mature and I know by now what could be a good decision,” he added. “I think this decision has definitely been the right one, to give my body and my knee more time to get ready with the club.
“Also with my country because we’re trying to go to the next tournament and that starts in September. Hopefully, everybody wants me back as quick as possible, but for me it is to get back as good as possible and time is not the most important thing.
“Obviously I want to be back out there, I want to be helping my teammates, helping my country and I obviously want to help the club, but I think it’s the right thing to do to stay a little bit more patient.”