Virgil van Dijk: Liverpool defender left out of Premier League squad after knee injury

No return date set for Dutch centre-half, who requires knee surgery after damaging anterior cruciate ligament in Merseyside derby

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk goes off injured during the Premier League match at Goodison Park 1:14
Jamie Carragher believes Liverpool's chances of retaining the Premier League title have taken a massive hit following the long-term injury to Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk has been omitted from Liverpool's 25-man Premier League squad after suffering a serious knee injury against Everton.

Van Dijk requires surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament, which was damaged in a collision with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during Saturday's Merseyside derby.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says no time frame has been set for the defender's return.

VAR reviewed Pickford's challenge on Van Dijk and decided Liverpool should not be awarded a penalty as Van Dijk was in an offside position. VAR also concluded that Pickford's challenge was not worthy of a red card.

Liverpool are understood to have contacted the PGMOL over the weekend for clarification on a number of decisions during the derby.

Virgil van Dijk injury 3 2:57
Dermot Gallagher tells Ref Watch that Jordan Pickford should have been sent off for his challenge on Van Dijk regardless of the offside

Van Dijk will be a huge loss but Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is confident that they can counter that loss, and that the Netherlands international will return even stronger.

"It's a tough one. It's a big blow for us," said Henderson. "For him personally, obviously. But for us as a team, a massive blow.

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"I'm just gutted for him. It's a difficult moment, but that's when you need to be there for each other. I'll be there as much as I possibly can for him, I'm sure the lads will do the same.

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"But I'm sure he'll be back stronger. In the meantime we've got to do everything we can to help make us stronger and basically go and win as many games as we can for him, really.

"That's down to us as players to make sure that when he is back and he is fit that we're still fighting to be successful and fighting for trophies.

"You've got to use times like this to be stronger and to be even more together than we already are. And use it as a positive in some way - I know it sounds ridiculous at the moment, but that's what you need to try to do. We need to try to look forward and try to help us in the next however many months Virgil will be out for."

Liverpool's Premier League squad

Thiago Alcantara, Trent Alexander Arnold (homegrown), Roberto Firmino, Alisson Becker, Joe Gomez, Joseph Hardy, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Naby Keita, Caoimhin Kelleher (homegrown), Sadio Mane, Joel Matip, James Milner, Takumi Minamino, Divock Origi, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (homegrown), Nathaniel Phillips (homegrown), Andrew Robertson, Mohamed Salah, Adrian, Xherdan Shaqiri, Teixeira Da Silva, Diogo Jota, Konstantinos Tsimakis, Georginio Wijnaldum

Premier League squads for 2020/21 season

Each Premier League club have submitted a squad list for the 2020/21 season.

Each squad contains no more than 17 players who do not fulfil the "Home Grown Player" (HGP) criteria.

The rest of the squad, up to a total of 25 players, must be "Home Grown".

Clubs are also allowed an additional list of registered U21 players.

What is a Home-Grown Player?

A "Home-Grown Player" means a player who, irrespective of nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to The Football Association or the Football Association of Wales for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons, or 36 months, before his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21).

Rules on U21 players

U21 players are eligible over and above the limit of 25 players per squad.

For the 2020/21 campaign Under-21 players will have been born on or after 1 January 1999.

Carragher calls for January replacement

Jamie Carragher believes that the loss of Van Dijk should be the catalyst for his former club to bring forward their plans to add a new defender.

"Liverpool's next big signing had to be a centre-back anyway and I am talking next summer," Carragher told Monday Night Football.

"Dejan Lovren went and they didn't replace him so they only have three centre-backs and one of those, Joel Matip, is always injured.

"There are question marks now about Joe Gomez.

"So there is no doubt that Liverpool had to go big in the transfer market next summer. That was the next one. That has now got to be brought forward to January 1st, whoever the target was in the summer. Not the end of January. Not [wasting time that month] negotiating with a club."

Who will replace Van Dijk in the short term?

Sky Sports News' Ben Ransom:

"Like Fernandinho, bringing Fabinho into defence and losing him midfield could be a blow for Liverpool.

"But I think Fabinho will be the natural replacement, certainly going into next season. He can talk to everyone, he's the one player, like Van Dijk, who can get Gomez or Matip alongside him, and tell the full-backs to tuck in."

Read the full discussion from the Pitch to Post podcast

Could any of the young players step up?

Rhys Williams, Sepp van den Berg, Nathaniel Phillips, and Billy Koumetio are among the leading young centre-backs at Liverpool who Jurgen Klopp could play with Van Dijk out.

Find out more about the standout prospects

Pitch to Post podcast: Has Van Dijk injury derailed season?

Was Saturday the day Liverpool's title hopes took the cruellest of turns?

Jasper Taylor is joined by Gerard Brand, Ben Ransom and Keith Downie to dissect the weekend's action in the Premier League, leading of course with Van Dijk's ACL injury and what that might mean for the champions.

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