Andy Robertson has suggested that missing out on the European Championships will help Virgil van Dijk return to full fitness for Liverpool next term, allowing him to show off his world-class quality once more.
The Dutchman made the decision to not join former Red Gini Wijnaldum at the summer tournament to protect his body following a long-term injury sustained last year.
“I have seen the big man go through his rehab, struggling at times of course, and now coming through the other side with his smile getting bigger and bigger again. He feels as if he is close to fitness and close to playing again and for me being close to him it is obviously tough,” the Scot was quoted as saying by The National.
“I want my mates to do well and I want my friends to play at the biggest tournaments when they qualify. To see him not make it is obviously hard, but he has made the best decision for his career. He seems quite content with that decision.
“Obviously he is disappointed, but he has made the best decision for his body and that’s why he has ruled himself out.
“It’s a huge loss for Holland, but from a selfish point of view if he is fully fit and ready for next season then that obviously helps Liverpool because – for me – he is the best defender in the world and hopefully next season and in other seasons to come he will show that again.”
While we can only begin to imagine just how gutted our No.4 is (particularly given his age) to miss out on the Euros, it’s a decision that appears to be the best for all.
Aggravating his ACL injury after missing the majority of the 2020/21 campaign would do no favours for Frank de Boer’s side as much as it wouldn’t for Liverpool who have sorely missed the 29-year-old’s formidable presence in the backline.
Either way, in his position, there’s a good chance the former Southampton star will make at least the next couple of major tournaments, for which we’ve no doubt he’ll be more than raring to go for.