Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp vows to be patient and not take any risks with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez during pre-season after the central defensive duo missed out again in the friendly win over Mainz
- The Liverpool defenders are back on training after recovering from injury
- The pair have not featured in any of the Reds’ three pre-season matches
- They are unlikely to feature in next week’s friendly against Hertha Berlin
Klopp started new signing Ibrahimi Konate and Joel Matip in central defence for the first half against Mainz on Friday night before Nat Phillips and Billy Koumetio featured in a fully changed XI after the break.
Liverpool won 1-0 thanks to a late own goal. Teenage left-back Owen Beck’s cross was diverted into his own net by defender Luca Kilian with five minutes left.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will not take any risks with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez
Van Dijk and Gomez have not played since last year and are yet to feature in any of the Reds’ three pre-season matches.
Asked if the pair would feature in next week’s game against Hertha Berlin, Klopp admitted to LFC TV : ‘Yeah, it would still be a surprise, unfortunately.
‘But they look really good,’ he insisted.
Defender Virgil van Dijk is back in training after recovering from a cruciate ligament injury
Van Dijk has been out since October after he ruptured a cruciate ligament in the Merseyside derby, while Gomez suffered a knee injury while on international duty with England in November.
Klopp added: ‘We just have to be patient – we prepare for a full season, not for a pre-season game.
‘I will not risk it for a game here, so we have to see,’ stressed the 54-year-old.
‘We have a lot of games still coming, pre-season games, but I don’t see them being involved for the next one.’
Gomez and Van Dijk are unlikely to feature in next week’s game against Hertha Berlin