Khalid Boulahrouz has advised Virgil van Dijk to not “be thinking about the European Championships” as he makes his return from injury, as reported by Ziggo Sport (via Sport Witness).
The No.4 has been out of action for much of the season, since suffering an ACL in October, leaving the Reds’ defence in a state of a disarray and disrupting the side’s structure.
“I don’t think he should be preoccupied with the European Championships,” the ex-Chelsea star said.
“He shouldn’t put that pressure on himself. His career lasts longer than the tournament. Sure, such a tournament is great, but he still has many beautiful things to do in his career.
“He first has to go and see: okay, will I be able to get fit in time? And how far along am I when I can get back on the pitch?
“Then he has to see if it’s worth considering. But I wouldn’t be thinking about the European Championships.”
With our towering Dutchman unlikely to grace the pitch once more for us this term, it would be incredibly frustrating to see the defender play a starring role in the Euros.
That’s not to say we wouldn’t want the centre-half to ignore his body if he’s capable of playing some minutes for the national side, but it seems a notable risk considering he’s still in recovery mode.
At 29-years-old, we can certainly understand the pressure to get in as many international tournaments as possible but Van Dijk’s priority has to be his continued recovery, particularly when coming back from such a serious injury.