Virgil van Dijk is itching to pull on a Liverpool shirt again after serving a two-game suspension as the Reds’ Europa League campaign gets underway.
The club captain hasn’t played for Liverpool for nearly a month, since being sent off against Newcastle United, with his ban later extended after he admitted an FA charge for improper conduct.
But with Jurgen Klopp suggesting he will select a strong side for the Reds’ Europa League opener away at LASK Linz on Thursday, the Dutchman is in line for an immediate return to the Liverpool starting XI.
And despite being disappointed at missing out on Champions League football last season, the centre-back is determined to do well in Europe’s secondary competition.
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"It’s been very frustrating (being banned) personally, but it also brought me a lot of other good things," Van Dijk told reporters.
"I have really enjoyed the team’s spirit, obviously the results, the way we worked as a squad. "So yeah, everything happens for a reason, that’s how I see it.
And I am back now and I am definitely looking forward to it. I was quite lucky that there were two international breaks in between, otherwise it would have been quite some time for me to play again.
"Obviously we all wanted, before the season ended last year, to be in the Champions League. It’s what we fought for but unfortunately we didn’t deserve it.
"What we deserved is the Europa League and we are going to give it everything we have. We want to give it everything we have and we want to try and win it. But that doesn’t happen overnight. We have to work for it andRead on liverpoolecho.co.uk