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Former Premier League star suggests Jordan Pickford should be banned for as long as Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk is out

Liverpool superstar Van Dijk picked up a severe injury against Everton
Liverpool superstar Van Dijk picked up a severe injury against Everton
Sai Teja
ANALYST
Modified 19 Oct 2020, 23:58 IST
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Former Aston Villa goalkeeper Mark Bosnich suggested that Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford should be banned for as long as Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk is out after his terrible injury.

The Englishman was on the receiving end of immense criticism after his reckless tackle on the Liverpool colossus during the Merseyside Derby. Pickford rammed into Van Dijk's knee in an attempt to go for the ball, forcing the Dutchman to walk off the pitch with an injury that almost immediately appeared to be a serious one.

Liverpool confirmed on Sunday that it was as bad as initially feared, stating that their superstar ruptured his ACL and will require surgery, effectively ruling him out for the remainder of the campaign.


Bosnich rips into Pickford's challenge on Liverpool's Van Dijk

Bosnich played in the A-League towards the end of his career
Bosnich played in the A-League towards the end of his career

Speaking to Sky Sports about the much-maligned tackle that has ruled Van Dijk out for the campaign, Bosnich expressed;

"One thing that has never really come into serious consideration is that when there are challenges that are made, at the reckless level, which would be endangering an opponent's safety."

The former Australian international continued,

"I really do think that if that's the case, the powers that be have got to look at, maybe as a deterrent, how long the player you tackle is out, whether you meant it or not, is how long will be suspended."
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"Because like I said, these types of tackles and the one later on from Richarlison, even though I thought Richarlison's [tackle on Thiago] was worse than [Jordan] Pickford's."

Everton star Richarlison saw a direct red card towards the end of the fiery encounter after an ill-advised tackle on Liverpool new boy Thiago Alcantara. The Brazilian went diving into the challenge and hurt the Spaniard's legs, and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp revealed that Thiago was in great discomfort after the game.

Bosnich reiterates that the intention of the tackle is irrelevant as it ultimately puts the player in danger.

He also addressed the offside rule that allowed Pickford to walk away, unpunished for his rash challenge on Van Dijk.

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The 29-year-old was marginally offside as he went in for the ball with Pickford, which is why the Englishman wasn't booked, despite the challenge being bad enough to warrant a red card.

The Australian added,

"Regardless of whether they mean it or not, it's putting the other players at risk and in danger. And I think the only way, like I said, long-term to deter players from actually putting themselves in the position where they're going to risk an opponent is to actually consider the rule."

Van Dijk is now expected to miss seven to eight months of action is set to undergo surgery on his knee as a result of this challenge.


Also read: Liverpool superstar Virgil van Dijk could be set for lengthy layoff due to ACL rupture

Published 19 Oct 2020, 23:58 IST
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