Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk to undergo knee surgery after damaging ligaments in Merseyside Derby

Liverpool‘s Virgil van Dijk will be out for a lengthy period after damaging his knee ligaments in Saturday’s Merseyside Derby with Everton

The Dutch defender was involved in a collision with Toffees goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after just six minutes of the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park. 

The Everton shot stopper received no sanction for the tackle, with Van Dijk deemed in an offside position at the time of the collision, yet the centre-back was forced off the pitch as he was unable to continue.

Virgil Van Dijk requires surgery on his knee after damaging his ACL at Everton on Saturday

Virgil Van Dijk requires surgery on his knee after damaging his ACL at Everton on Saturday

Virgil Van Dijk requires surgery on his knee after damaging his ACL at Everton on Saturday

The Dutchman was involved in a collision with Jordan Pickford after six minutes of the game

The Dutchman was involved in a collision with Jordan Pickford after six minutes of the game

The Dutchman was involved in a collision with Jordan Pickford after six minutes of the game

A Liverpool statement read: ‘Van Dijk was required to be substituted and further assessment on the injury has revealed an operation will be needed.

‘No specific timescale is being placed upon his return to action at this stage.

‘Following surgery, Van Dijk will begin a rehabilitation programme with the club’s medical team to enable him to reach full fitness as soon as possible.’

Match referee Michael Oliver and VAR official David Coote opted not to look into the Pickford tackle as a dangerous challenge. 

The Everton goalkeeper was not penalised for the challenge despite Van Dijk's injury

The Everton goalkeeper was not penalised for the challenge despite Van Dijk's injury

The Everton goalkeeper was not penalised for the challenge despite Van Dijk’s injury

The England international goalkeeper could still receive a ban for a dangerous challenge if the FA opt to take retrospective action. 

Liverpool had slammed claims made by beIN Sports presenter Richard Keys on Saturday night that the Dutch centre-half has suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury. 

The defender has been pivotal to Liverpool’s rise under Jurgen Klopp and was ever-present as the Reds lifted their first Premier League title in 30 years last season.

Van Dijk has not missed a single minute of top-flight football for Liverpool since September 2019 and his absence will be a blow to the Reds’ title challenge.  

The Reds will have to cope with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip as centre-back options, while Liverpool also have youngsters Sepp van den Berg, Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams in reserve. 

More to follow.  

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