Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum were united in their condemnation of the tackle during the team's game against Everton, which sidelined Virgil van Dijk for several months. New signing Thiago Alcantara is out of their Champions League opener against Ajax after suffering an injury following a tackle as well.
Virgil van Dijk sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury, after a terrible tackle from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford but did no receive any punishment. Van Dijk's injury is a huge blow to Liverpool's hopes of defending their Premier League title.
Van Dijk's Dutch team-mate Wijnaldum said that Jordan Pickford's tackle was 'stupid' and that Everton 'take it too far in the games we play against them'.
"We know it is a derby and everyone wants to win so sometimes you go a little bit over the top but it was too much. The tackle from Richarlison on Thiago was also a nasty one," said Wijnaldum.
"Accidents can always happen in football. You can be unlucky with a tackle and injure someone, but the way they were doing it, is completely unacceptable," added Wijnaldum.
Jurgen Klopp opens up about Everton's style of play against Liverpool in derby games
Jurgen Klopp said that both challenges were 'difficult to accept'. The Liverpool manager has had to answer many questions about how Liverpool will cope without van Dijk.
"Injuries happen in football, very often in challenges but often both players just try to play the ball. That was not the case in these two challenges and it makes it so different and difficult to take," Klopp commented.
"The number of questions you ask suggests you think we will all struggle with it," said Klopp when asked how his team will cope.
Many pundits have already written off Liverpool's season without van Dijk, which has only angered Jurgen Klopp. Klopp's mood was not helped by the fact that he will have to pair Fabinho in the center of Liverpool's defense with Joe Gomez after Joel Matip suffered a knock on Saturday.
" I am old enough, I know how the world is. I know what people do. A lot of people speak before they think. We have a situation. We are without Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip and we will still give it a try. What can we do now?" said Klopp.
"People can say what they want, it is a free world, but three weeks ago, they said we would run away (with the league). Now, three weeks later, we are not even in contention for anything anymore. That's football. That's the world right now. We cannot be that excited. We have to stay calm," continued the Liverpool manager.
" Why should I think the boys cannot deal with the situation? But the number of questions you ask suggests you think we will all struggle with it. So we have to prove you wrong? I am not even interested in proving you wrong. I am only interested in the best for Liverpool and for my players," concluded Klopp.
Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool may be forced to enter the January transfer window in order to sign a top-quality center-half not just as a temporary replacement for Virgil Van Dijk, but also to add options in a thin-looking defense.
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has asked Klopp to explore the possibility of signing RB Leipzig center-back Dayot Upamecano.Published 21 Oct 2020, 16:18 IST