Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp has stated that it makes ’no sense’ for some people to claim that Virgil Van Dijk is ‘not the same anymore’ since returning from his long-term injury for Liverpool.

The Liverpool boss told his pre-match press conference ahead of his side’s Goodison Park visit that Van Dijk has been ‘brilliant’ since his return. 

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It was the Merseyside derby last October that ended Van Dijk’s season after a horrific knee injury following a challenge from Jordan Pickford.

Over a year later, the Dutchman will, for the first time, return to those surroundings, but this time with supporters present. 

Klopp stated that it’s ‘probably difficult’ for someone like Van Dijk to forget what happened last season. 

“We are all human beings,” said Klopp. “It’s probably difficult to ignore or forget something like that. It was a situation that should not happen in football. 

“But Virgil is very experienced and he now has this situation constantly, since he is back, that he is always in these challenges where he has to be completely free of all things that he could have in his mind because of one issue in the past. 

“Brilliant. He came back brilliant. All the little things, people are really quick with them, if something wasn’t exactly like it was before then, ‘Oh, he’s not the same anymore’. 

“It’s all of course not right and these kinds of judgements make no sense because everybody needs time to get back. He had a full pre-season, which is absolutely helpful.”

Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Whilst Liverpool’s season went downhill after that Van Dijk injury last season, they are back to their old selves this time around. 

With possibly the world’s best player at their disposal in Mohamed Salah, this is a free-scoring Liverpool side showing those same signs that they displayed when they last lifted the Premier League title.

Of course, depending on other results, the Reds could go top with all three points against the Toffees tonight.

It looks like Van Dijk will start in what will be a busy festive period for all involved and it will be interesting to see who partners him at the back after Ibrahima Konate took that role against Southampton.

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