Netherlands manager Frank de Boer has called on Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk to make a decision over his participation at Euro 2020.
The centre-back is significantly down the road to recovery after suffering a serious knee injury in October. However, the big question over whether he returns to action before the next domestic season remains. Van Dijk will have recovered by August, but could yet make the bold move to represent his country before then.
De Boer has, for some time, waged something of a war of words with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp over the player.
The former has insisted that his country’s captain looks on track to make the squad for the tournament starting in June.
Klopp, though, has urged caution. While he does not want to hold the player back, he feels that the extra few months spent at Liverpool – including a strong pre-season – will serve him better.
Nevertheless, as Euro 2020 approaches ever closer, De Boer has called on Van Dijk to make a decision.
“I think he has to decide, it is his career,” the Netherlands boss told ESPN.
“I can imagine that he is in a dilemma. Can It mean something for Oranje? I hope he has made giant steps in his rehabilitation.”
Van Dijk has been documenting his recovery on social media and his latest post showed him running in a straight line on Liverpool’s training pitches. He has also been doing ball work with fellow injured defender Joe Gomez.
However, Klopp warned earlier this month that it will take more than a few weeks for him to return to team training.
As such, the German added: “You cannot be 10 or 11 months out, train for one week and then play football. That is not possible, it should not be possible.”
Liverpool have felt Van Dijk’s absence hard, his departure having a hand in a drop in form throughout the season.
Van Dijk replacement speaks up
In his place, 20-year-old Rhys Williams is one player who has replaced Van Dijk on occasion this season.
Indeed, the youngster played in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Southampton at Anfield.
He lauded one of his colleagues after the match for finally putting into practice the encouragement he had received from his team-mates in training.
READ MORE: Rhys Williams lauds Liverpool star for ‘finally’ listening to training advice
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