Virgil van Dijk: Liverpool defender needs knee surgery and faces lengthy lay-off

Virgil van Dijk: Liverpool defender needs knee surgery and faces lengthy lay-off

Virgil van Dijk could not continue after Jordan Pickford's challenge on him in the first half of the Merseyside derby
Virgil van Dijk couldn’t proceed after Pickford’s problem on him within the first half of the Merseyside derby

Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk wants surgical procedure on a knee ligament damage sustained within the 2-2 draw at Everton on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Netherlands defender was unable to proceed following a rash problem by Toffees keeper Jordan Pickford within the first half.

It’s unclear how lengthy he will probably be out for with the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) damage.

He went for a scan earlier than a specialist confirmed the extent of the injury.

Returning to motion after ACL surgical procedure can take many months and Liverpool is not going to specify how lengthy the Dutchman will probably be out for till after his operation.

Surgical procedure is not going to be fast and the operation has but to be organized.

Membership sources are reluctant to rule out a return to motion this season, as a lot will depend upon his rehabilitation.

Van Dijk has been a key determine for Liverpool since signing for them in January 2018 for £75m.

He has performed each league recreation for the membership previously two seasons as Liverpool completed second in 2018-19 earlier than profitable their first top-flight title in 30 years in 2019-20.

The Dutchman was additionally a number one determine for the facet as they received the Champions League in 2019 and Membership World Cup later that yr.

He had performed seven instances for the Reds this season previous to the Merseyside derby.

‘It’s going to hinder Liverpool’s title defence’

Van Dijk’s absence will depart supervisor Jurgen Klopp with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip as his foremost centre-backs in addition to the inexperienced Nathaniel Phillips, Rhys Williams and Sepp van den Berg.

Gomez and Matip have by no means began a match collectively as centre-backs for Liverpool. Earlier than Saturday’s Merseyside derby, the final time they each performed in that place for any a part of a recreation was the final hour of the Four-1 defeat by Tottenham in October 2017 at Wembley

Midfielder Fabinho deputised at centre-back within the win at Chelsea earlier this season.

“We can’t know till the top of the season how a lot affect it’s going to have on the Liverpool squad. There will probably be a way of togetherness. It’s going to undoubtedly hinder their defence of the title,” stated former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock on BBC Radio 5 reside.

“It is that outdated cliche: ‘Let’s win it for Virgil and ensure now we have one thing to rejoice on the finish of the season.’

“However if you find yourself within the altering room, you look throughout and you have not bought Virgil van Dijk – this massive colossus of a participant. Defensively when issues are going nicely and also you flip again and see Van Dijk, it is okay. Now you flip again and he is not there.

“It isn’t being disrespectful to the gamers which might be in there however he’s their primary centre-back – somebody who has carried out to such a excessive degree since he has come into the soccer membership.”

Along with Liverpool, the Netherlands will probably be maintaining their fingers crossed he will probably be match to participate within the postponed Euro 2020, which is now set to happen from 11 June to 11 July 2021.

Evaluation

BBC Sport’s Simon Stone

That is actually horrible information for Liverpool.

The Premier League champions is probably not placing a timescale on Virgil van Dijk’s possible absence however within the brief time period, they do not actually need to.

Few gamers have returned from cruciate ligament surgical procedure inside six months – and relying on the precise extent of the injury, it might be longer.

Even a six-month absence would maintain Van Dijk out till the again finish of April. Successfully, it means Jurgen Klopp must do with out his defensive talisman and 2019 PFA Participant of the Yr for the remainder of the season.

It’s going to stretch Liverpool’s defensive assets – and Matip and Gomez have an enormous job forward of them in a season during which the bodily calls for will probably be like no different given the decreased period of time the marketing campaign is being performed over.

The information will frustrate Liverpool even additional as a result of Everton keeper Pickford escaped punishment for the horrible sort out that inflicted the injury. Liverpool didn’t even get a free-kick.

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