Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez made their long-anticipated returns from injury in Liverpool’s 4-3 defeat to Hertha Berlin in a friendly match played in Austria on Thursday.
Both Liverpool defenders who suffered serious career-threatening knee injuries last season were introduced into the match to replace Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips in the 69th minute of the pre-season friendly.
Van Dijk had been sidelined since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last October, while Gomez needed surgery to repair a tendon in his left knee which sidelined him for eight months.
Hertha Berlin went into a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Santiago Ascacibar and Suat Serdar, but Sadio Mane and Takumi Minamino were on target to draw Liverpool level before half-time in Austria.
You May Also Read: Arsenal Willing To Make A Move For Chelsea Striker Tammy Abraham
Steven Jovetic’s second-half brace sealed the win for the Bundesliga club as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored a late consolation for Liverpool.
Despite the disappointing loss, Liverpool fans will be extremely happy to see the return of Van Dijk, and while the Dutchman’s comeback is very promising, Red’s supporters have been urged to give him time to get back to his very best.
Former Leeds and Everton striker Jermaine Beckford had this to say about Virgil van Dijk’s return to full fitness: “His immediate impact, after arriving for £75m, was phenomenal. So to have him back is incredible for Liverpool.
“I don’t think Liverpool should expect to see the Van Dijk of old immediately because he’s coming back from a bad knee injury.
“I’ve had three myself and it takes a lot to go back to the standards he set himself, which are very high.
“With someone like Van Dijk, you have to have patience, he will make mistakes and he will look a bit rusty but eventually he will get back to the level where he left off.”