VIRGIL VAN DIJK took his seat at Anfield but could only see his Liverpool team-mates lose to rivals Everton in the Merseyside derby.
The centre-half was ruled out for the season after a horror challenge from Everton’s Jordan Pickford in the reverse fixture last October.
Virgil van Dijk took his seat for the Merseyside derbyCredit: Eddie Keogh Telegraph Media Group
Since the influential Dutchman has been out, Liverpool’s title defence has collapsed and they face a battle to make the top four.
Van Dijk has spent the last couple of months undergoing rehab in Dubai and – was even pictured dancing earlier this week.
But the Reds clearly missed their influential leader as big rivals Everton won 2-0 at Anfield to go level on points with Liverpool with a game in hand.
Richarlison opened the scoring before Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a late penalty to cap an excellent Toffees performance.
Klopp said: “Nothing will be carried over into this game.
“When we got the diagnosis, it was good we did not play Everon immediately again.
“We are all human beings and, of course, it was not nice. Now, that is long gone and we just don’t think about it any more.
How Liverpool fared with and without Van Dijk since his debut in 2018 up to his injury against Everton
Van Dijk takes in the minimal atmosphere ahead of the big gameCredit: Getty – Pool
Van Dijk was injured after this tackle by Jordan Pickford in OctoberCredit: PA:Press Association
“But it is still a derby and that is enough for being motivated at the highest level and we will try to play the best football we can.”
Van Dijk watched on as Liverpool’s defensive problems continued.
He was replaced at the back by rookie Nat Phillips, alongside new signing Ozan Kabak.
Before the game Liverpool legend Graeme Souness described the champions as ‘vulnerable’ – and this is even more the case after the latest setback.
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