Virgil van Dijk posts encouraging injury update as Liverpool await defender’s return

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Virgil van Dijk is making encouraging progress at Liverpool's training ground as he ramps up his rehabilitation from his serious knee injury.

The defender has been out of action since he suffered a tear of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament in his right knee during the Merseyside derby last October.

Van Dijk underwent successful surgery later that month and spent time training at NAS Sports Complex, a state-of-the-art facility in Dubai.

The Dutchman returned to Merseyside last month and has been working hard in the gym and on the training pitches at Liverpool's Kirkby base, also taking part in some light drills with the ball at his feet.

Van Dijk is back running again at Liverpool's training ground
(Image: @virgilvandijk / Instagram)

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Van Dijk's latest update shows the impressive progress he is making on the long road to full fitness.

The 29-year-old posted a video on his Instagram page of him running and shared similar footage on his story, taking a moment to turn to the camera and say "floating over the grass".

In subsequent stories posted on Saturday afternoon, he showed off his keepy-uppy ability and took a tentative shot on goal.

The defender also took a shot on goal, showing how much progress he is making
(Image: @virgilvandijk / Instagram)

Will Van Dijk transform Liverpool into title contenders again next season? Have your say in the comments.

While Van Dijk is clearly growing more comfortable on the training pitches, it remains highly unlikely he will take to the field for Liverpool again this season.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp admitted last month it would take a "miracle" for the centre-back to make a full return before the end of May.

"I don’t want to say that’s absolutely impossible but it’s not likely," said Klopp. "It’s not likely.

"We don’t have to discuss these things really. But if they are on the list then it’s only because we hope for nearly a miracle. That’s it."

Meanwhile, Liverpool suffered yet another defensive injury during the 1-0 defeat by Chelsea on Thursday, with Ozan Kabak likely to miss out against Fulham on Sunday.

The Turk joins Van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, and stand-in option Jordan Henderson on the sidelines.

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Veröffentlicht am Kategorien Sport

Harry Maguire accused of ‘playing for himself’ as Man Utd urged to replace captain

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Manchester United captain Harry Maguire had his leadership skills questioned and been accused of ‘playing for himself’ in a scathing attack by former Red Devils defender Paul Parker.

Parker, who won two Premier League titles in a five year spell at Old Trafford has been less than impressed with Maguire’s performances in a red shirt since the player’s arrival from Leicester in 2018.

The former full back believes the club out to be looking to replace the centre-half following some unconvincing displays so far this season.

“Regarding the centre backs, people talk about bringing in a new partner for Harry Maguire,” Parker is quoted by The Sun . “But I would look at bringing in two centre backs, why can’t it be a player who comes in and plays alongside Victor Lindelof?

Harry Maguire has come under fire for his performances this season
(Image: Getty Images)

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“Harry Maguire is not a leader, he plays the game for himself, he sits way too deep, he dribbles for the sake of dribbling and runs himself into cul-de-sacs.”

Despite sitting second in the Premier League, the 32 goals conceded by United in the Premier League is among the most of any side in the top half of the division with only Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton having shipped more of the top ten teams.

Parker believes Maguire is partially to blame for this following some notable errors leading to goals this campaign.

One costly moment in particular came in a shock 2-1 setback against bottom of the table Sheffield United when Maguire failed to clear his lines allowing Oliver Burke to score the winning goal.

“The goal against Sheffield United,” Parker added. “He put David De Gea in a terrible position, and he made a terrible clearance which people then blamed the goalkeeper. Sometimes you need to look at the build-up to see the mistakes.

“I have always been unsure about Maguire since the day Manchester United signed him. When they paid £80m, the club didn’t buy an £80m centre back, it was great business by Leicester City.”

Veröffentlicht am Kategorien Sport

Mikel Arteta demands further explanation as Premier League clarifies Arsenal penalty controversy

Sign up to FREE email alerts from MirrorSport – ArsenalSubscribeWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. OurPrivacy Noticeexplains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeInvalid EmailSomething went wrong, please try again later.

The Premier League have confirmed that VAR Kevin Friend believed that the decision to not award Arsenal a penalty against Burnley was not a clear error.

Mikel Arteta was left incensed after Erik Pieters appeared to deflect a Nicolas Pepe touch with his arm.

Replays showed it clearly hit the Clarets defender on the arm, but after Andre Marriner waved away the initial protests, Friend backed up his decision.

It was a hugely contentious moment on a frustrating afternoon for the Gunners, as they were held 1-1 at Turf Moor.

Mikel Arteta was furious Arsenal were not awarded a penalty for an apparent handball
(Image: BT Sport)

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener was cancelled out when a horrific Granit Xhaka error allowed the hosts to equalise.

Arteta felt his side should have been awarded a penalty in the second half and asked for Premier League clarification.

”It's a really tough place to come on a difficult pitch, but I have to say we should have scored the big chances we had,” he told BT Sport.

“When you miss the chances we had, and you do not get decisions, it is complicated to win football games. If that is not a penalty, then someone needs to explain what one is.

The Premier League have confirmed that the proximity of Pieters meant it wasn't an obvious error by the referee

"From what we produced, you have to come here and win. When you do not, you have to look at yourself. We completely dominated the first half but they make it difficult with a lot of long ball.

“If the first one is not a penalty honestly someone has to come to the training ground and explain what a handball is. It cannot be any clearer.”

And soon after the full-time whistle, Premier League bosses released the following statement suggesting proximity played a key role in the decision making process.

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The statement read: "The ball has hit him from close proximity and he’s had no time to react.

"It wasn’t given on-field and the VAR didn’t think it was a clear error."

Arsenal legend Martin Keown was on Arteta’s side, claiming the decision to not award a penalty was ‘beyond him’.

He said: “I know the rules are going to be changed, but this is definitely handball. This is very definite, out comes the arm and how have VAR looked at that – someone in the VAR hub has looked at that and said ‘no’ – it’s beyond me.”

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Veröffentlicht am Kategorien Sport