“Virgil van Dijk injury” is not the headline any Liverpool fan would want to see.
Liverpool have confirmed that Virgil van Dijk will undergo knee surgery after damaging his ligaments and have not set a date for him to return. Reports had earlier stated that he had seen a specialist to assess his options.
A previous report from beIN Sports stated that Virgil van Dijk had ruptured his ACL and would be out for up to eight months, and that shattering blow has arrived for Liverpool.
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Van Dijk issued a statement on his Twitter account, looking ahead to better days.
— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) October 18, 2020
Van Dijk was clattered knee-high by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford early in the Merseyside derby. From a corner the ball found Virgil van Dijk at the back post as Jordan Pickford lunged towards him and caught him around his knee.
The foul occurred in the box, but no penalty kick was given as the Dutchman was judged to be offside before the contact arrived. VAR was used to check if Van Dijk was offside, and he was.
No punishment was dished out to Pickford despite his horrendous tackle, as a statement has been released as to why VAR was not used to send off Pickford.
Jurgen Klopp was raging on the sidelines after seeing his defensive leader cut down mercilessly and Liverpool later complained to the Premier League about VAR not sending off Pickford.
After the game Klopp told the BBC, “It doesn’t look good but we have to wait.” He then gave a more detailed update to the club website.
“I don’t know [how serious it is], I don’t know, but it is not good,” Klopp said. “Virgil played for us I don’t know how many games in a row. He plays with pain, he plays with pretty much everything, but he couldn’t play on. That’s not good.”
Check out the incident by clicking on the video below.
Should Pickford have been sent off?
Pickford has had his struggles this season and he was extremely lucky that the offside flag went up to save himself from giving away a penalty kick and being given a red card.
The way he stormed off his line was reckless and Van Dijk knew exactly what was coming.
Van Dijk had to come off injured and he hobbled around the pitch at Goodison Park, as he was replaced by Joe Gomez in a big blow for Liverpool.
There’s no doubt Pickford should have been sent off and a statement from the PGMOL has since admitted that VAR didn’t review the decision. If it’s possible for Pickford to get retrospective action (we will have to wait for the referees report to see if he is eligible for that) he will surely see a three-game ban, or more, coming his way.
How big of a blow is this Van Dijk injury for Liverpool?
This is huge. Virgil van Dijk is the most important player Liverpool have and was on track to be named the best player on the planet in the next 12 months. He is so important to the Reds and holds their defensive unit, and entire team, together. This is like Barcelona losing Messi. PSG losing Mbappe. That said, losing Van Dijk is probably more damaging.
Liverpool fans everywhere will be devastated by this Virgil van Dijk injury news as this long-term injury is a big blow to their Premier League and UEFA Champions League title hopes. Especially with Alisson also being injured in recent weeks. This swings the title race in Man City’s favor, just like Aymeric Laporte’s injury player a big factor in last season.
Losing Virgil van Dijk long-term is the worst thing that could have happened to Liverpool. Simple.