SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 7, 2019: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, manager Jürgen Klopp and Virgil van Dijk celebrate after the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0 (4-3 on aggregate). (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Virgil van Dijk issues rallying call but admits Jurgen Klopp exit is “hard to take”

Virgil van Dijk has admitted that Jurgen Klopp‘s departure is “tough to take” but it could give Liverpool an “extra boost” for the rest of the season.

Liverpool’s captain, Van Dijk, has spoken publicly for the first time since Klopp announced he would be the club at the end of the season.

In an interview with LFC TV, the skipper reacted to the news and said the team “have to block out the noise.”

It is believed some players have tongue-in-cheek called this ‘the last dance’, with Van Dijk reiterating that they will be focused on the games ahead.

The captain said: “We all want to achieve so much and that mindset was already there since pre-season and that doesn’t change.

“It will maybe even give you an extra boost to do that extra or maybe enjoy it a little bit even more together and make the last part of the season, the last bit of the manager’s time at the club, the best time he’s ever had.

“That’s what we strive for and that’s why it’s business as usual.”

He added that the players “have to block out the noise from the outside world, tunnel vision and focus on hopefully achieving success in these months for the manager at the club.”

Despite focussing on upcoming fixtures, the Dutchman did admit it the news was “a hard one to take, because the manager means so much.”

Klopp and the Reds made a beeline for Van Dijk in 2017 and didn’t stop until they signed him in January of 2018.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, January 5, 2018: Liverpool's match winning goal-scorer Virgil van Dijk celebrates with manager Jürgen Klopp after the 2-1 victory over Everton during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 230th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The boss put his faith in Van Dijk and it was repaid. When Jordan Henderson left last summer, Klopp again displayed his trust, naming the defender as his captain.

“He made the decision for him and his family. It was always going to be a tough one and it was definitely the case,” Van Dijk continued.

“You want to be there and you want to be there for the team, be there for the manager.

“Let’s make the rest of the season a special one so he can have the farewell that he definitely deserves.”

Well said, Virgil.