Virgil Van Dijk has officially ruled himself out of this summer’s Euros due to knee injury
Van Dijk has not played since October after suffering a torn ACL against Everton
Netherlands listed at +1000 to win Euros without the defensive star
The Netherlands are listed among the betting favorites to win this summer’s UEFA European Championships. The Dutch were one of the most impressive teams during the qualifying stages, but the Dutch had been hopeful that star defender Virgil Van Dijk would be healthy enough to join the squad in time for the competition.
Van Dijk, who helped lead Liverpool to the club’s first-ever English Premier League title last season, has missed most of this term after suffering a torn ACL in his knee last October in a game against Everton.
Van Dijk has been one of the most influential players in Jurgen Klopp’s side over the past few years, and he has played a similarly important role on the international stage with the Oranje.
Klopp recently told the press that the club would not rush Van Dijk back from the injury in an attempt to help him get fit in advance of the Euros. The German manager did say that whether Van Dijk played this summer would ultimately be the player’s decision, however. On Wednesday, Van Dijk confirmed that he has decided against suiting up for the Dutch at the Euros.
“In this latest stage for myself, I have come to a decision that I had to make: would I be involved in the Euros, yes or no? With everything that is going on, I feel physically it is the right decision that I’ve decided not to go to the Euros and to go into my last phase of rehab during the off-season.”
The 29-year-old added,
“So, the full focus will be on preseason with the club and that’s a realistic goal, so I am looking forward to that. Obviously I am very gutted to miss the Euros, to miss the European Championship and leading out my own country there, but things have been like they have and I have to accept it — we all have to accept it. I think the decision to not go is the right decision in the grand scheme of things. It’s tough, but I’m at peace with it.”
Rather than rushing back to play for the Netherlands, Van Dijk confirmed that he plans to be ready for the beginning of Liverpool’s 2021-22 campaign later in the summer.
Easy Draw for Netherlands
The Netherlands are betting favorites to win Group C, which also features Austria, North Macedonia, and Ukraine. The Dutch will play their first game of the competition against Ukraine on June 13, but Van Dijk will not be a part of the festivities.
Liverpool have struggled with a variety of injuries this season, but Van Dijk’s absence has arguably been the most crucial. The Reds are currently just seventh in the Premier League table with the season set to wind to a close, which means there is a very real chance that the club will miss out on next season’s Champions League.
Liverpool are currently seven points adrift of fourth-place Chelsea with four games left to play. The last time the Reds missed out on Champions League play was back in 2015-16. Klopp was hired by the club after Brendan Rodgers was sacked in October of 2015.
Van Dijk’s Rise
Van Dijk arrived in a big-money move from Southampton in January of 2018 for a then-record fee of £75 million. Liverpool had one of the worst defensive records in the Premier League before he was signed, but the side has since transformed into one of the best in that regard since he joined Klopp’s regular rotation.
Van Dijk originally debuted for the Netherlands in 2015 before being named a captain for the first time in 2018. He scored his first of four career international goals later that year.
England and France are listed as +500 co-favorites ahead of this summer’s Euros, but the field is wide open. Belgium (+600), Germany (+700), Spain (+800), and reigning champions Portugal (+900) are all realistic contenders, while the Netherlands check-in at +1000. Van Dijk’s Liverpool teammate, Gini Wijnaldum, will likely captain the Dutch side this summer.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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