Virgil van Dijk returns to Liverpool for next phase of ACL recovery

Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk has left a specialist clinic in Dubai and has now returned to Anfield for the next phase of his recovery from a serious knee injury.

The Dutchman, who has been out of action since October after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in a collision with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, has spent most of 2021 at the Nad al Sheba Complex in Dubai, working with several specialists to try to accelerate his recovery.


According to the Liverpool Echo, his time in Dubai has come to an end and Van Dijk has now flown back to Liverpool to continue his rehabilitation with the club's medical staff.

The 29-year-old has been given his own training regime to try to continue all his positive work, but despite all this progress, Liverpool remain adamant that they will not put a timeframe on Van Dijk's return.

Initially rumoured to be a season-ending injury, Liverpool have never described it as such, although manager Jurgen Klopp has confessed that he doesn't expect to see the centre-back in action this season.

Klopp does not want to rush Van Dijk back | Pool/Getty Images

With Van Dijk still a while away from a return and both Joe Gomez and Joel Matip out for the season as well, Liverpool were forced to act in the transfer market, bringing in both Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak, but one man who was incessantly linked with the Reds was Lille star Sven Botman.

Canal+ (via GFFN) had Liverpool fans going wild on Sunday when they claimed that Lille had already struck an agreement to sell Botman to an unnamed Premier League side in the summer for around £40m, but all the excitement didn't last for long.

Botman's agent, Nikkie Bruinenberg, told Voetbalzone that rumours of an exit being agreed already are 'fake news', and the claims were also dismissed by the likes of Fabrizio Romano and Mohamed Bouhafsi.

Botman was touted as a replacement for Van Dijk | Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

That's not to say Liverpool definitely won't sign Botman, but nothing has been agreed with the exciting 21-year-old just yet.

Liverpool aren't the only side monitoring Botman. Manchester United have been credited with an interest in the Dutchman, while AC Milan have also seen their name thrown into the mix in recent days.