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Virgil van Dijk reveals Jurgen Klopp talks over Liverpool future and makes ‘not typical’ claim



Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk has opened up on discussions with Jurgen Klopp and has offered a further view on his red card against Newcastle.

Virgil van Dijk has revealed holding talks this summer with Jurgen Klopp over his Liverpool future – and admits he “cannot wait” to make his return to the first team.

Van Dijk was named new club captain last month as part of a summer overhaul that saw skipper Jordan Henderson and vice-captain James Milner among a number of long-serving players to depart with more than £150million spent on signing four midfielders.

The new-look Reds have opened the campaign by taking 10 points from 12 having missed out on Champions League qualification last season for the first time in seven years.

And Van Dijk, who was one of several players to suffer a dip in form during the previous term, has been reassured by Klopp over his part in the next iteration of the team.

“We are in a kind of transition phase with Liverpool,” he said. “So of course it’s nice to feel that the manager still considers me part of the new team, of Liverpool 2.0 so to speak. We spoke a lot in the first weeks of preparation. That showed confidence in me.

“I have spoken a lot with people around me in recent months. My wife is very important in this but I also have people at the club with whom I talk a lot.

“It starts with being self-critical as a football player and always wondering how things can be better. At the end of last season, I already noticed that I was improving.”

Van Dijk is still waiting to discover if the one-match ban he has served for his sending-off at Newcastle United a fortnight ago will be extended having been slapped with an FA charge for acting in an improper manner after being dismissed.

And the centre-back said: “That was not typical for me but that was the red card anyway. I’ve never got one before at Liverpool, and I think only about four times in my entire career. But apart from that I still started the season well.

“I feel good and strong. I think it went well against Chelsea and Bournemouth. Despite the red card, the start was fine. I cannot wait to return.”

Van Dijk is also the captain of the Holland national team but admits the role is far more hands-on at Liverpool.

Speaking ahead of Holland’s Euro 2004 qualifier against Greece in Eindhoven on Thursday, he added: “Naturally I’m proud and it is a big responsibility. This is no different with the Dutch national team but with Oranje you are often only together for a few days, so the number of tasks as captain is not too bad.

“There’s a lot involved at the club, both on and off the field. You get involved in almost everything.”

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