Jurgen Klopp has labelled the incident that led to Virgil van Dijk’s potentially season-ending injury, as a “very strange” decision by Jordan Pickford.
The Liverpool manager is facing up to the biggest injury crisis of his tenure at Anfield, with just one of his first choice back-four available for selection.
Van Dijk suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury after a heavy and clumsy challenge by Pickford in the Merseyside derby last month.
The Everton keeper appeared to try and throw his body at the ball, only to strike the Dutchman above the knee.
At the time of the incident, Klopp said: “What can I say? I don’t want to say Jordan Pickford wanted to do it but it’s, of course, not a challenge how a goalie can do it in the box because there’s another player.”
Since that incident, Trent Alexander-Arnold has suffered a calf injury and Joe Gomez has had surgery on a knee issue that will see him miss a significant portion of the season.
On Gomez’s injury, the Reds boss told Mail Sport:“ My English is not good enough to describe exactly what went through my mind.
“My head physio told me and everybody was sure it was serious immediately. No doubts. No hope it was only a little one.
“Injuries are part of the deal for players and managers. How they happen is something we are constantly worried about.”
But while Gomez’s injury can be put down to the hectic fixture schedule, Klopp is still ruing the Van Dijk absence, which is down to what Klopp calls a “very strange” Pickford decision.
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He added: “With the Virgil van Dijk situation, it was not because of the intensity of the game. It was because of a very strange decision by one person [Jordan Pickford] which made it hard to deal with.
“With Joey, it was absolutely because of the intensity of the season. That’s something we have to worry about. That’s not an excuse. That’s just an explanation.”
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