Liverpool have 'big job' to replace Klopp, says Van Dijk

AFP , Monday 29 Jan 2024

Virgil van Dijk admits Liverpool have a "big job" to replace Jurgen Klopp when the German steps down at the end of the season.

 Virgil van Dijk
Liverpool s Virgil van Dijk, left, celebrates after scoring his side s fourth goal during the English FA Cup fourth round soccer match between Liverpool and Norwich, at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England. Photo: AP

 

Van Dijk is coming to terms with Klopp's shock decision to quit once the current campaign is over.

The Reds captain does not believe uncertainty over Liverpool's long-term future will affect their ambitions this season.

They crushed Norwich 5-2 in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday in the first game since Klopp's bombshell announcement.

But he knows Liverpool must get it right when they pick Klopp's replacement.

"The club will have a big job on their hands, that is well known," Van Dijk said.

"To replace not only the manager but the whole staff and there are so many things that will change.

"I'm very curious which direction that will go in but when that will be announced we will see our situation.

"It will be the end of Jurgen Klopp's era -- I am still part of it that's why I don't like to talk about it -- and that is my main focus.

"Hopefully we will have the success we all dream of and by then probably there will be more clarification about what the club wants for the future and then we will see."

Asked whether he saw himself being part of the next era, Van Dijk added: "That's a big question. I don't know."

Bigger tests await Liverpool on Klopp's farewell tour, with Chelsea visiting on Wednesday before they head to Arsenal next weekend.

Dutch defender Van Dijk, 32, insists nothing will be different about Liverpool's approach as the Premier League leaders chase silverware in four competitions.

"Nothing has really changed. Obviously things will change at the end of the season and in the new season but at the moment it doesn't and we have to keep doing the same things," he said.

"It's easier said than done but I sense the rest of the boys think like that as well and it is the job for me to ensure we keep it that way.

"We are all human beings and we have emotions -- some players feel different about the manager's announcement than others.

"That's absolutely normal because everyone thinks in different ways but I didn't notice the professionalism being dropped or the level of standard.

"The training sessions I have seen in the last couple of days were not different than before."

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