Solskjaer deserves congratulations on Manchester United’s progress
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserves recognition for the progression he has overseen at the club.
United are set to finish second in the Premier League for the first time since 2018 and are set to reach the Europa League final after a 6-2 win over Roma in the semi-final first leg on Thursday.
– Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN + (US only)
– Klopp: No UCL will affect Liverpool transfer plans
– Harry Maguire opens up about rivalry between Man Utd and Liverpool
Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s visit to Old Trafford on Sunday, Klopp praised the Norwegian for turning United into challengers again.
“It’s nice to see when the quality of a manager is more important than the experience you have,” Klopp said.
“If you need 50 Champions League games as a coach before facing a club like Manchester United, it will be difficult to find one because there aren’t many coaches with that experience.
“I think it’s clear that if Ole wouldn’t have had a successful history at Man United as a player then probably few people at United would have thought of him. But, because he did a brilliant job to Molde and has a Manchester history, that was the idea and no one knew how it would work.
“It worked absolutely sensational from the start and then there was a little dip and now they look really good and he deserves the credit for that with his coaches. I’m happy for him to be honest because that I’m really happy for a colleague doing really well and that’s what he does. “
A Liverpool win at United will see Manchester City crowned Premier League champions for the third time in four years.
Liverpool also face an uphill battle to secure Champions League qualification next season as they find themselves seven points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
Virgil van Dijk’s absence has played a huge role in Liverpool’s poor campaign with the defender disabled since October, after sustaining a knee injury in the Merseyside derby at Everton.
It has been suggested that the center-back could return for the Netherlands in this summer’s European Championship, but Klopp said Van Dijk would not be rushed into action again.
“I don’t want to hold it back but you can’t force it too,” he added. “If you want to play in a tournament, you have to have proper football training beforehand. You can’t have 10 or 11 months to train a week and play football, that just isn’t possible.
“Noboby is holding him back, I can promise everyone in Holland but we can’t force him. We are talking about a player and his career so nobody should force him and nobody will – neither Holland nor us nor Virgil.
“He’s just trying to get back in shape as quickly as possible but nobody knows when it will be exactly. You can imagine it will be very tight for the Euros because he’s not yet in team training and won’t be. not in the next few weeks. End, that’s Virgil’s decision and he’ll be swayed by the feeling in his knee. “