Roberto Firmino details the ‘real shame’ of Liverpool injury to Virgil van Dijk

Roberto Firmino believes the ‘real shame’ of the injury sustained by Virgil van Dijk in October is his influence to Liverpool on-and-off the pitch.

But the Brazilian has promised to dedicate any success to the stricken defender.

Van Dijk suffered suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage in the Merseyside derby against Everton and could miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery.

And while the 29-year-old has been pictured back at the AXA Training Centre for rehabilitation, Firmino admitted his team-mates are in ‘unusual’ territory after a string of physical setbacks.

He said: “The injury to Virgil van Dijk was a real shame because he is not only an important player on the field for us but also in the dressing room.

“We all miss him of course and the squad wants to dedicate the successes we achieve this campaign to him.

“I think we have shown that we have a great squad of players,so, our target remains the same.

“It is true, of course, that this season is very unusual. You cannot ignore that because of the players missing with coronavirus and in our case with injuries too.

“I think this will level up the competition a lot for the rest of the season and make it even more difficult to win the title.

“But our challenge is to be champions again. So, we have to keep our options open at the top of the table and be ready for a long campaign.”

Firmino added: “What we are experiencing now, and what we experienced at the end of last season, is different to any situation we have been through before.

“The healthiest team, in all ways, and the most consistent side could well be the one with the best chance of being champion.

“But we will do everything we can to make sure it is us. Winning the Premier League twice in a row would be fulfilling a dream since I came here.

“First it was the Champions League, then the Premier League and now I want another one. Everybody is the same.”

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