James Milner admits he is « devastated » after Liverpool defender’s recent injury setback for Joe Gomez that Anfield is not all about Virgil van Dijk.
Jürgen Klopp has had a pathetic stroke of luck in the fitness area in the last few weeks.
Van Dijk, the Dutch Talisman center-back, suffered a knee ligament damage on a derby date in Merseyside with Everton in October. Fabinho was laid down for cover when asked.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago Alcantara and Jordan Henderson also found their way into the treatment room, while Gomez followed Van Dijk when he was forced under the knife.
Milner feels for the 23-year-old central defender, whose previous career as a senior has been severely affected by regular failures on the sidelines.
« We’ve talked a lot about Virg, Joe is exactly the same. For him devastated, « Milner told Premier League Productions.
« Great guy first and foremost, and you don’t want it to happen to anyone except [especially not] someone like him. How good is he as a player too?. People forget how young he is and what he has already done in this club and how much he has improved and continued to improve.
« He’s still very young. He has been through this before with a serious injury and has come through stronger. So if anyone has the mental strength to deal with it, it is him. He’s been through it before and has come back stronger, and I’m sure it will again.
« Obviously we are disappointed for him and how well he played too. It’s obviously a big mistake not only for him as a player and as a person, but also for us as a team.
« But like I said, he’s very strong mentally and he’ll get through it and come back stronger. We are obviously all here with him and support him as best we can. ”
With so many players unavailable for him, Klopp faces some tough selection decisions as Liverpool prepare to return to the Premier League with a home game against Leicester on Sunday.
Milner believes the Reds have the strength to counter absenteeism, amid speculation of possible forays into the January transfer window.
The 34-year-old midfielder added: « We are blessed to have a lot of good players in the squad. There is always competition for places. « .
“The guys who have joined the team in the middle and in every position over the past few weeks have done very well. Rhys and Nat too. There are options there. Fabinho has done very well when he has played.
« You have to do this as a cadre. Sometimes during the season you need to make changes and adapt to new formations and sometimes new positions. « . We are fortunate to have a lot of good players in the squad and players who can adapt and handle different positions.
« We are lucky enough to have these options and I am sure the manager will find the best way we will go and go from there. « . ”
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James Milner, Joe Gomez, Liverpool F. . C.. . , Premier League, English national football team, Virgil van Dijk, Manchester City F. . C.. . , Defender
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