Virgil Van Dijk has spoken about the 'special' chat and moment he shared with Joe Gomez as the defensive pair returned from long-term injuries.

The Dutchman made his first return to the side since sustaining a knee injury and subsequently undergoing surgery last October, and Gomez had been out since mid-November, as Liverpool suffered an injury crisis in defence last season.

The pair entered the pitch together for the final 20 minutes against Hertha Berlin in a pre-season friendly, and both are now targeting more minutes in a bid to get back to full fitness in time for the new season.

Neither had featured in 2021, but both will be planning a strong comeback year in the side.

Virgil van Dijk with Joe Gomez, both of Liverpool (

Image:

Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

The pair were brought on together and shared a special moment on the touchline as they were introduced, and when speaking with LiverpoolFC.com, Van Dijk was asked to describe how it felt: "Special.

"We said it to each other, we have to soak it all up, we have to take it in, enjoy it, let it make you stronger, let it make you even hungrier to stay fit."

The Dutchman reflected on the moment, and revealed: "To be standing there at that moment, at that time, was special. I will never forget that."

Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool will be extremely grateful to have the pair back, along with a fully fit squad ahead of the new season, after the previous campaign was plagued with injury for the Reds.

Will Virgil Van Dijk still be as good as he was? Comment below

Virgil van Dijk featured for the first time since October 2020

Following injuries to Van Dijk, Gomez and Joel Matip, Liverpool were forced to sign two emergency centre-back options in the January transfer window, as Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies joined the side from Schalke and Preston respectively.

Academy graduates Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams partnered up in the centre of defence for the second half of the season, as they helped Liverpool to a third-placed finish.

Following the trios return from injury, and with the arrival of Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig for £36million, Liverpool have a completely opposite issue to the one they endured last season.

Competition for places is higher than ever, and now the Reds have a whole host of centre-backs at their disposal, and it remains to be seen who Klopp will field as his primary partnership at the back.

The obvious choice would be Van Dijk and new signing Konate, meaning that the rest will have to up their game in order to force a way into the first team.

However, this is a much nicer issue to have, and the Liverpool's record signing is eager to get back and solidify the Reds defence for the season ahead.

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