Van Dijk backing Adrian to thrive while Alisson is out
Virgil van Dijk has insisted it will be easy for new Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian to fit into the team after No 1 Alisson suffered a bad injury.
Adrian, who joined Liverpool as a free agent on Monday, made his debut as a substitute in the 4-1 win against Norwich on Friday night when Alisson collapsed with a calf injury.
The 32-year-old Spaniard, released by West Ham this summer after six seasons, will face Chelsea in the European Super Cup on Wednesday and his run in the team is likely to continue for months if Alisson’s injury is as bad as manager Jurgen Klopp fears.
Van Dijk is confident, however, that the change in goal will not disrupt Liverpool’s season.
‘Alisson is very important for us but whatever the outcome (of the injury) we have to deal with it and we are going to deal with it,’ said the talismanic defender.
‘Adrian is at that age, that stage of his life and career, that he can slot in to the team pretty easy. He has been through so many things in the Premier League.
‘When he came on, I just wished him luck and to do his normal things. It is unlucky that we conceded but that’s part of football sometimes.’
Klopp faces problems in the goalkeeping department, with third-choice Caoimhin Kelleher having only just returned to training after a wrist injury. ‘He is not 100 per cent, we have to see how he reacts now,’ said Klopp.
Simon Mignolet was sold to Club Brugge last week and Loris Karius is on loan at Turkish club Besiktas. Youngster Shamal George, who came close to joining Swindon last month, played against Spurs at Liverpool’s academy yesterday.
The club will consider putting 35-year-old veteran Andy Lonergan on the bench against Chelsea.
Liverpool started the season in seven competitions and, having lost the Community Shield to Manchester City on penalties last weekend, will want to get silverware on the board against Chelsea in Istanbul. ‘We’ll be fully focused,’ promised Van Dijk. ‘Chelsea have a lot of quality, we will analyse them properly and be ready for a big game.’
Van Dijk has been mentioned as a World Player of the Year contender, having played a major part in Liverpool winning the Champions League and helping Holland reach the Nations League final.
‘I am honoured to be mentioned but I haven’t got any influence on the decision,’ said the 28-year-old. ‘If I’m picked, I will be very honoured but it’s not the end of the world if not.
‘There is plenty to improve. The only thing I want to do is keep working and be an example for all the players coming through at Melwood but also the young players becoming professional footballers.’Daily Mail