Liverpool should be worried about how Virgil Van Dijk may return from injury after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
That’s according to former Celtic and West Ham striker Frank McAvennie, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the defender’s road to recovery.
Van Dijk, 29, has been injured since mid-October after a rash Jordan Pickford challenge left him with a severe ACL injury.
Van Dijk’s absence has hit Liverpool hard as their title defence crumbled and they now face the prospect of failing to finish in the top four.
He hasn’t been the only defensive injury this season as Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have also missed the majority of the season.
McAvennie is worried about how Van Dijk will return after his injury as he may not be the same player he was previously after such a prolonged spell on the sidelines.
“They say one man doesn’t make a team but in this case that’s not true,” McAvennie told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.
“They bought Van Dijk for £80million and he sorted the team out straight away, he came in and all of a sudden they started winning all their games.
“It’s not a coincidence. So when he’s not there and the other two centre-halves are injured it’s so hard.
“Klopp can’t do anything to rectify that. You’ve just got to hope that Van Dijk is the same when he returns.
“These real long-term injuries can hurt a player, he could be ruined and we’ve heard no news for a while.
“There’s no guarantee he’ll be the same player when he comes back.”
He only managed five Premier League appearances before he picked up his knock with one of those being in the shock 7-2 loss to Aston Villa.