Liverpool fans may not have to wait much longer to see new signing Virgil van Dijk in action.
The £75 million man is available for tomorrow’s FA Cup match against Everton, and there’s not a better fixture for Van Dijk to make his debut.
Yet Jurgen Klopp pumped the breaks on the excitement surrounding Van Dijk’s possible appearance by admitting there’s no rush to start him.
“He is obviously healthy and I have to make a decision for this game,” Klopp told reporters on Thursday, per the Mirror.
“I can imagine everyone is desperate to see him on the pitch but from our point of view there is no rush and it is much more important how many good games he can play for us.”
Van Dijk has been brought in to improve a defence that has been Liverpool’s Achilles’ heel in recent seasons.
It remains to be seen who will make way for the Netherlands international, with Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan both fearing for their jobs.
With Joel Matip also present, Klopp has an important decision to make.
How Lovren reacted when he met Van Dijk
Lovren will be aware of the challenge that Van Dijk’s arrival has presented but the Croatian showed no signs of ill-feelings towards his new teammates when he met him before Liverpool’s recent 2-1 win over Leicester.
Before watching the match from the stands, Van Dijk greeted Klopp and his new teammates as they arrived at Anfield.
It was interesting to see that Lovren gave Van Dijk an incredibly warm greeting, stopping to ask him how he was and patting him on the back.
Class from Lovren. He’s prepared to make Van Dijk feel welcome, despite the increased competition for places that the former Southampton defender’s signing brings.
Matip, who hasn’t matched expectations in his first season in the Premier League, has also embraced Van Dijk’s arrival.
“He’s a very good centre-back,” Matip said, per the Liverpool Echo.
“Having more quality in the squad is a good thing. Of course it means more competition but that’s what you expect at a big club like Liverpool.
“In every position we have a lot of choice. That will help us going forward. Competition pushes players on.”
It would be easy for Lovren and Matip to sulk, but they both appear ready to fight for the chance to start for Liverpool.