By Alex McLeish

11th Aug, 2021 | 8:32pm

Ex-manager cites 'devastating' Van Dijk injury as another Liverpool star dealt 'horrific' blow

Liverpool have been dealt a “devastating blow” after Andy Robertson picked up an ankle injury in pre-season, according to Alex McLeish.

The former Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested a young full-back would have to step up in place of the left-sided star.

The 27-year-old confirmed via Twitter on Tuesday (August 9th) he had suffered ankle ligament damage that will keep him out of action.

The injury was picked up in the 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao.

The Reds kick off their Premier League campaign with a trip to Norwich City on Saturday (August 14th).

McLeish admitted right before the start of the season was a “horrific” time to pick up an injury.

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He suggested Virgil van Dijk’s return to fitness could help offset the blow.

McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “That is horrible, horrific, to get that at the start of the season.

“Andy is a vital component for Liverpool and the Scottish national team. He has risen to an absolutely wonderful level and he will be a big loss for Liverpool.

“Losing Virgil van Dijk was absolutely massive for them. If he’s there and Andy’s not, he’s going to have to merge with a young full-back coming in.

“Devastating blow for Liverpool, definitely.”

Robertson played 50 times across all competitions for Liverpool last season.

Jurgen Klopp also has Kostas Tsimikas to call upon at left-back.

The Greece international replaced Robertson against Bilbao and started the friendly win over Osasuna.

Liverpool were without van Dijk for nine months after suffering a cruciate ligament injury.

In other news, Liverpool tipped to sell senior attacker for eight-figure fee after reported bid.