Holland boss Frank De Boer not counting on Virgil Van Dijk being fit for Euros
By Carl Markham, PA
Holland coach Frank De Boer insists he is not putting any pressure on Virgil Van Dijk to declare himself fit for this summer’s Euro 2020 and will leave the final decision with the player.
The Dutch boss said he is “not counting” on his captain, who has been out since October having undergone an operation on the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, but retains an outside hope.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has ruled the centre-back out of the remainder of the season and, while De Boer refused to go that far, he accepts the chances of having Van Dijk available are slim.
“It is logical that the club is like that. If I were Klopp, I might have taken this position too,” De Boer told a press conference ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Turkey.
“He still has eight weeks. There can be all kinds of setbacks.
“A week or two of setbacks could mean he can’t play games for Liverpool then I can imagine that they say: ‘Nice, you can focus on next season’.
“But we have to wait. It has always been a race against time. It is also how Virgil himself stands. We don’t want to put pressure on Virgil.
“Anything he can contribute to Liverpool and possibly us would be a bonus. I’m not counting on it right now but if it did, it would be fantastic.
“Ultimately, he must have a good feeling himself. He must do it himself and must have confidence in it himself. The choice mainly lies with him.
“When the moment comes and we know how he is doing, you agree with him what he can do then I have to make a decision about it.
“We now let him work on his recovery calmly. It is now going well. We don’t know whether that is enough.”
De Boer pointed to the previous example of Memphis Depay recovering from an ACL injury in December 2019 to be ready to play in the tournament had it gone ahead last summer as a source for his optimism.
“Depay was ready for the European Championship last summer after a serious knee injury,” he added.
“He felt strong enough for intense matches in close succession. He was ready, he thought, but you don’t know how that ended.
“It’s up to Virgil, but of course it would be great for us if he could be there