Thursday, April 18News That Matters

Van Dijk breaks silence over touchline spat with Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has played down his touchline disagreement with head coach Jurgen Klopp during the pre-season loss to Napoli.

The Dutch defender and his German manager were involved in a spat after Liverpool conceded the first of three goals in what proved to be another disappointing performance this summer.

After Lorenzo Insigne opened the scoring for the Italian side, Klopp seemingly gave his star central defender – who had not been directly to blame for the goal – a few home truths.

Virgil Van Dijk, however, appeared to take offence and was visibly annoyed with his manager as the pair exchanged their thoughts during the first half of the 3-0 defeat.

But the Holland international didn’t want to go into details regarding what was said.

He told reporters: “Just things… between me and him.

“It’s not necessary to reveal what. I think everyone has to communicate with each other. Sometimes you have to tell someone the truth, that’s how it is.”

Liverpool have lost three of their six pre-season games this summer and face one more friendly, against Lyon on Wednesday, before they play Manchester City in the Community Shield this Sunday.

The defeat by Napoli saw them play yet another match without star trio Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Alisson – but Van Dijk is happy to see them back in training.

“It was quite sloppy at times, but there’s no concerns from my point of view,” he added. “Our season starts properly next Sunday, so our focus will be on that.

“Everyone knows the players who are missing are important players for us. That’s a fact.

“There’s plenty more to come from the team. There’s a reason why we are European champions. We have to stay calm, we want to win games.

“But we have to be at our top level (on Sunday). If we play like that, we won’t win the Community Shield, it’s as simple as that.

“We have a good week to prepare ourselves with a friendly as well, which is good for the boys who are coming back. We will definitely be ready for City.”

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