Van Dijk returns as Sturridge speculation continues
Virgil Van Dijk will return to the Liverpool squad for Monday night’s trip Swansea City, while doubts remain as to where Daniel Sturridge will be playing his football at the end of this transfer window.
Van Dijk missed last week’s win over Manchester City with tightness in his hamstrings resulting from the intensity of training. He’s now fit and raring to go as the Reds look to continue their excellent recent form with a win over the Premier League’s bottom club.
Skipper Jordan Henderson and left back Alberto Moreno are back in full training but Monday’s game is likely to come too early for them and the FA Cup clash with West From a week on Saturday is a more likely date for their return to action.
Sturridge, meanwhile, has also been absent in recent weeks but having regained fitness he is reportedly looking to quit Anfield before the end of the month as he seeks the regular first team football he needs to force his way into England’s World Cup squad.
Inter Milan and Sevilla are leading the chase for the former Chelsea man but any move looks like it will only be on a temporary basis, with no-one currently prepared to meet Liverpool’s £30m valuation.
Sturridge’s opportunities have been limited this season and with the front three as good as set in stone now and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain offering an alternative to Sadio Mané or Mohamed Salah, the only way back for Sturridge would be if Roberto Firmino were to be injured.
Allowing him to leave would be a gamble by Jurgen Klopp as it would leave only Dominic Solanke and Danny Ings as cover at centre forward.
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Meanwhile, Sunderland’s hopes of landing Ben Woodburn on loan look to be over after the Reds decided he is needed as cover following the sale of Philippe Coutinho. Woodburn has barely had a look in this season but could be needed over the coming months and Klopp also feels his development would be best served by training with Liverpool’s first team squad.
“In all the sessions he is improving constantly,” said Klopp. “That we think we would miss him in our training group – with this quality squad – is maybe the biggest compliment you can give to him.”