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Liverpool fear a long absence for their ace Dutchman Virgil van Dijk

Dutchman to visit specialist in coming days as Anfield club alarmed that injury is significant

Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool looks on from the bench after been substituted at half-time against Brentford. Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images© Getty Images

Chris BascombeTelegraph.co.uk

Liverpool are sweating on Virgil van Dijk’s fitness as the centre-half consults a specialist about the hamstring injury he suffered during the defeat at Brentford on Monday.

Van Dijk was replaced at half-time – and there is mounting speculation that the Dutchman, who will learn the full extent of the damage in the coming days, will be out for several weeks.

Reports on Merseyside suggest that he is to visit a specialist in the next 24 hours due to growing fears of a significant injury.

The influential defender was one of three players to come off at half-time during the 3-1 defeat, but manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed that he was substituted due to injury – the other two, Harvey Elliott and Konstantinos Tsimikas, were for tactical reasons.

“Virgil felt a little bit the muscle and said it is fine, and he is a very good judge of these kind of things. But I didn’t want to take any risks,” Klopp said. “The physios looked quite happy when I said we don’t take risks. It’s not an injury, he just felt the intensity.”

Van Dijk is almost certain to miss the FA Cup third-round tie at home to Wolves on Saturday, and he is also a doubt for this month’s league clashes against Brighton and Chelsea.

Were he to miss those games, it would be a major loss for Liverpool in their attempt to secure Champions League qualification. Klopp’s men are sixth in the league, seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester United.

In Van Dijk’s absence, Klopp will have Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate as his likely centre-back pairing, with Joe Gomez and Nat Phillips also fit and available.

However, Van Dijk adds to a worryingly long injury list, which already includes forwards Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Roberto Firmino, as well as midfielders James Milner and Arthur Melo.


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