Five contenders to replace Antonio Conte at SpursMar 27 | 3 min read
Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk sidelined for a month with hamstring problem
The Dutch defender will be sidelined until February after picking up a muscle injury during Liverpool's defeat to Brentford last week, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp confirmed.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Virgil van Dijk will be out for "more than a month" in a fresh blow to the Reds' hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League.
Klopp took Van Dijk off at half-time during a miserable 3-1 defeat at Brentford, with it later transpiring that the Dutchman had suffered a hamstring injury.
However, the issue is worse than first thought and the 31-year-old will now miss Saturday's FA Cup meeting with Wolves as Liverpool kick off their defence of the trophy.
The unfortunate news comes at a bad time for Liverpool who subsequently face a run of Premier League fixtures including a trip to Brighton and a home clash with Chelsea, which will be exclusively live on BT Sport.
Join the home of live football today
BT Sport is the only place to watch live Premier League, Champions League, Europa League and much more.
Speaking to the press ahead of the game against Julen Lopetegui's men, Klopp said of the injury: "It was a surprise for us and a big blow. The diagnosis was pretty harsh.
"We talk about weeks, more than a month. It's a muscle thing - nothing different to say. It was one sprint too much in that moment.
"For Virgil, it is hard for him, but he played an incredible number of games over the last years.
"He never had an issue with muscles before and it just now happened. That's how it is. We did nothing different."
Van Dijk is just the latest in a long line of Liverpool injuries this season with Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino and James Milner also currently sidelined.
Thankfully Liverpool are well-stocked at the back with Klopp still able to call upon four central defenders in Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Nathaniel Phillips.
However there's no doubt that despite his dip in form this term, the loss of Van Dijk creates another headache for the German in a campaign where the Merseysiders cannot afford too many more slip-ups if they are to close the seven-point gap to Manchester United in fourth.
Regarding the availability of other players though, Klopp had good news.
Jordan Henderson has recovered from the concussion that kept him out against the Bees, while exciting attacker Cody Gakpo is set to make his debut against Wolves following his big-money move from PSV Eindhoven.
"First impressions of him are brilliant," said Klopp. "Somehow he will be involved, definitely. He is a joy to watch. He is natural in the offensive part of the game and knows where the goal is."