Without his club team-mate, whose involvement in the Euros is in question, the midfielder left for international duty.
With his current injury lay-off, Georginio Wijnaldum says Liverpool team-mate Virgil van Dijk is ‘going through hell,’ but he hopes he can return in time to represent the Netherlands at Euro 2020.
As the Netherlands look forward to matches with Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Poland, Wijnaldum has left Merseyside for international service, but he has done so without Van Dijk as a traveling companion.
After having surgery on the knee injury he suffered in October against Everton, the towering defender could be out for the rest of the season.
The Dutch were supposed to be among the contenders to win the European Championship after rediscovering their form under former manager Ronald Koeman, but they are now facing an anxious wait to see if Van Dijk will be fit in time to contribute.
For him, this is a rough time; it’s the toughest thing you can face as a football player. Via hell, you go. But he’s really powerful, I guess. Every now and then we have FaceTime and that’s very cool.
Many fans and analysts have questioned whether in the coronavirus period, with the additional potential for transmission of the virus and the heavy workload on players, international fixtures should go ahead.
Instead of the normal two in an international break, several nations are now playing three matches, intensifying the fears of club managers about the fitness of players and possible injury problems.
However, Wijnaldum says he is simply happy to have the opportunity to play once again for his country.
“You never have the assurance as a club that you will get players back fully fit,” he noted.
“Three international matches are played and that requires energy. But I think it’s cool, as a football player, to play a lot of matches with the Dutch national team.
Anyone who is with Oranje right now is pleased with these international matches. I feel very well and very fit at the moment.
We are still at the beginning of the season, however. I have no idea what it’ll be like later. Am I going to get a Liverpool message? Yes, I have to get back in shape! Nothing more, nothing more.’