Liverpool skipper Virgil van Dijk says “it’s a hard one to take” after Jurgen Klopp confirmed he will be leaving the club at the end of the 2023/24 season.
Klopp is currently under contract with the Reds until 2026, having taken over from Brendan Rodgers in October 2015 but has decided to depart at the end of this campaign.
The German has already solidified his legacy in the club’s history by winning the Premier League, Champions League, Club World Cup, Super Cup, FA Cup, and the Carabao Cup.
The 56-year-old will however continue to oversee the team’s remaining fixtures of 2023-24.
Speaking about Klopp’s shocking revelation on Friday, Virgil Van Dijk told Liverpoolfc.com, “It’s a hard one to take, because the manager means so much for us, to me, to the club, to the whole Premier League I think.
“But he made the decision for him and his family. It was always going to be a tough one and it was definitely the case.
“Yeah, he told us in private of course, and all of us were together. Like I said, it’s a hard one to take but our mindset is to focus on business.
“We have a lot of targets still to achieve this year and why not finish the season on a high and together with celebrations for the boss as well?
“I think how we always try to manage noise from the outside. Of course this is massive, it’s massive news in football. For us, it was also a very big day. But we have big targets this year and that’s definitely stressed by the manager as well.
“For us and for me personally as well, I want to make sure the rest of the boys think like that too. I think that’s the case as well.
“We all want to achieve so much and that mindset was already there since pre-season and that doesn’t change.
“It will maybe even give you an extra boost to do that extra or maybe enjoy it a little bit even more together and make the last part of the season, the last bit of the manager’s time at the club, the best time he’s ever had.
“That’s what we strive for and that’s why it’s business as usual.
He added: “I think it will be a collective feeling and like I said already, I didn’t have any feeling so far that that wasn’t the case.
“I think it just should give you that extra boost, that special feeling that let’s make the most out of it. I think that feeling was already [there], like I said before, since pre-season that we wanted to make things right from last year and we have to keep that going.
“As a fan and as a supporter of the football club, it will also feel that way. You want to be there and you want to be there for the team, be there for the manager.
“Let’s make the rest of the season a special one so he can have the farewell that he definitely deserves.”