Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk Leaves Netherlands Squad for Personal Reasons

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2019

Netherlands' Virgil Van Dijk controls the ball during the Euro 2020 group C qualifying soccer match between Northern Ireland and the Netherlands at Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Peter Morrison/Associated Press

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk will not take part in Tuesday's UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier between the Netherlands and Estonia, pulling out of the squad because of personal reasons.

The Dutch FA announced the news on Sunday (h/t Liverpool Echo's Paul Gorst). Per the report, Van Dijk has left the Dutch training camp.

The 28-year-old and his team-mates secured a Euro 2020 ticket with a goalless draw against Northern Ireland on Saturday. Tuesday's match is no dead rubber, as the top spot in Group C is still up for grabs, but Van Dijk may have been rested against the last-place Estonians. The visitors have won just a single point in their campaign.

Per Jack Lusby of This Is Anfield, Van Dijk is the latest in a long line of Liverpool players who dropped out of international duty during this break. He joins Joe Gomez, Andy Robertson, Jordan Henderson, Mohamed Salah and Caoimhin Kelleher in cutting short their spells or not travelling at all because of illness or injury.

The Reds will face Crystal Palace on Saturday and face a busy festive period. Per Gorst, they could play as many as 12 matches before New Year's Day.

The first crucial outing will come on the Wednesday following the Palace match, when Liverpool host Napoli in the UEFA Champions League. The Partenopei sit just one point behind the Reds in the battle for the top spot in Group E.

In Van Dijk's absence, the Dutch could turn to Inter Milan's Stefan de Vrij on Tuesday. Ajax's Daley Blind is another veteran option, and with Bournemouth's Nathan Ake also in the squad, the Oranje will not have to worry about depth.

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