Liverpool’s hopes of retaining the Premier League title took a significant hit when the champions introduced Virgil van Dijk requires surgical procedure on his proper knee after damaging ligaments in a problem by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the course of the Merseyside derby.
Liverpool didn’t give a timescale on Van Dijk’s absence, however an damage of that nature will doubtless hold the Netherlands worldwide out for an extended interval.
“Following surgical procedure,” Liverpool mentioned, “Van Dijk will start a rehabilitation program with the membership’s medical crew to allow him to succeed in full health as quickly as doable.” Van Dijk was the topic of a reckless, knee-high lunge by Pickford within the sixth minute of the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park on Saturday. The middle again instantly got here off after prolonged remedy and hobbled gingerly across the subject to the locker room. It meant English soccer’s participant of the yr from 2018-19 missed his first minutes of league motion since September 2018.
Van Dijk has been a commanding presence on the coronary heart of Liverpool’s again line all through the crew’s rise to the highest of English and European soccer in recent times. Liverpool has conceded the fewest targets of any crew in every of the final two Premier League seasons.
With out its greatest defender, Liverpool supervisor Jürgen Klopp has two specialist middle backs in Joel Matip — who has lately returned from damage — and Joe Gomez, who has struggled for type this season.
Fabinho, a defensive central midfielder, also can drop again to play at middle half if needed.
Liverpool is also at present hampered by the lack of its first-choice goalkeeper, Alisson Becker.
The video games are coming thick and quick for the crew, which begins its Champions League group-stage marketing campaign on Wednesday with a visit to Ajax. There are group video games in successive midweeks till the following worldwide break in mid-November.
Liverpool has 10 factors from a doable 15 after the opening 5 video games of its title protection, and lies three factors behind first-place Everton.