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Formerly Injured Defence is All Fine, Says Jurgen Klopp

The manager provided updates on the fitness of Gomez, Van Dijk, Matip and Alexander-Arnold.

Liverpool Pre-Season Training Session Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool’s injury woes hit the centre-back role the most last season, with Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, and Joel Matip picking up season-ending injuries fairly early in the season. Trent Alexander-Arnold made it through without much trouble, but picked up an injury while training with England during the Euro 2020 tournament. But all four are on the mend, as Jurgen Klopp reported from Austria.

“That’s the thing, these boys are not injured anymore, they are just not at 100 per cent yet. There are usually setbacks but so far there were no setbacks with Joe and Virgil and nobody [else] – they are all fine.

“What they had to do they did, no reaction with the knee, nothing, all fine. The world wide web had obviously too much time.”

“It’s different [for each of them],” Klopp said. “I think there is absolutely no doubt Joel can play on Tuesday. Trent looks for me like [he can] but I will have to speak to the medical department and they will tell me if it is too early. I don’t think [it is], I think he could play a few minutes on Tuesday.

“Then, Joe and Virgil are in a similar situation – not exactly the same, but similar. Both have done parts of our normal training and then they have to do extra parts. Yesterday we had to do some sprints – hard sprints and these kind of things, which we didn’t do in the normal training – so they do extra stuff and sometimes a little bit less if the things what we are doing is too intense for them. They are getting closer and closer, that’s the impression we have.

“What they did in training so far worked really well and we will see when we can involve them in complete normal training – I don’t know that and I don’t rush it either. It makes no sense, we waited so long and now we can wait a few days longer, that’s no problem.”

“I am not sure if we have it on camera, but when Joel scored the goal [in training], Pete Krawietz was standing next to me and said, ‘Good surgery!’ He is in good shape, wow.

“Joel Matip is this kind of player, who flourishes in the moment when he enters the pitch. I think nobody heard him saying a lot of things when he is stood next to the pitch, but when it is a game situation – whichever game it is – he is in.

“He missed that very much because he was out for a long time, but as I said before he was the closest of all the four long-term injuries. Trent is now in normal sessions as well and we’ll see what we do with that on Tuesday.”