Liverpool receive major injury boost ahead of Leeds United clash with James Milner reunion in doubt

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has declared himself fit for Jurgen Klopp ahead of this weekend's clash with Leeds United.

By Joe Urquhart
Thursday, 9th September 2021, 5:44 pm
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk. Pic: Getty
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk. Pic: Getty

The Whites host the Reds at Elland Road on Sunday afternoon as Premier League action resumes following the September international break.

Both teams are still unsure whether their Brazilian players will be involved amid a dispute with the country's FA via FIFA, after nine English top flight players failed to report for international duty in South America due to Covid travel restrictions.

Visiting boss Jurgen Klopp, though, will be able to call on Dutch centre-back Van Dijk after he shook off an injury scare while in action for the Netherlands.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

Harvey Elliott is also fully-fit after withdrawing from the England Under-21s squad while former Leeds academy product James Milner and Takumi Minamino are yet to resume training.

“Taki is already here for a while, he got injured obviously with Japan," Klopp told the Liverpool club website.

“With Virgil, that was obviously a scary moment, you can imagine. I sent him a message after the game, ‘Are you alright?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘100 per cent?’ ‘200 per cent.’ ‘Come on, send me a video of you without limping...’ ‘I’m only limping off.’

“So he called me from the bus and said, ‘Boss, I’m fine!’ I said, ‘Why are you limping then?’ He said, ‘My wife asked the same!’

"So, yeah, that was a bit of a tricky moment but apart from that, no, all fine [for the other international players].

“Bobby is not [fit], it happened in the game [against Chelsea] obviously.

“Harvey is fine again.

“Millie, we have to see. Millie has to be part of team training yet, he was not part of team training so far, so we will see what he can do. But he will get closer, definitely.”

Naby Keita has also returned to Merseyside after he was allowed to leave Guinea amid political unrest in his home country.

“Naby is fine,” Klopp added.

“Yesterday he was not here [at the AXA Training Centre] but he was in Liverpool again. I will have a chat with him today, but from what I know from all the calls and talks we had, he’s fine.”