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Virgil van Dijk says Liverpool’s hierarchy have big job to replace Jurgen Klopp

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Jan 2024

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Virgil van Dijk admits Liverpool’s hierarchy have a big job to replace Jurgen Klopp and is “curious” to see the direction they go in.

The Reds captain does not believe uncertainty over the future will affect their ambitions this season, having continued their challenge on four fronts with a comfortable FA Cup victory over Norwich.

But with the likes of himself, Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold all in the final 18 months of their contracts, there are a lot of significant decisions to be made before the summer.

“The club will have a big job on their hands, that is well known,” he 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.”

However, any questions about how the players would respond to learning the news of Klopp’s departure at the end of the season were emphatically answered with a 5-2 victory over the Canaries at an emotional Anfield.

Bigger tests await this week with Chelsea visiting on Wednesday before they head to Arsenal next weekend but Van Dijk insists nothing will – or should – be different.

“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 added.

“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.

“For the boss it (the Norwich game) was a bit different but for us it was to make sure we got to the next round with some players coming back from injury and now we focus on Wednesday.

“We can speak about the situation, about what will happen next year, every week but it doesn’t change, it’s noise we don’t need and that’s why we focus on getting the job done and that’s why I feel nothing has changed.

“It is still the same but at the end of the season there will be different things happening of course, but that is for the club to sort out.”

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