Carlo Ancelotti says Everton are “really sorry” that Virgil van Dijk was left seriously injured following the Merseyside derby.
The 29-year-old Liverpool defender was controversially hacked down by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the 2-2 Premier League draw at Goodison last week. Pickford escaped punishment at the time and no retrospective action was taken despite Van Dijk being ruled out for months with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.
Speaking today, the Everton manager said: “To be clear, we are really sorry for the injury of Virgil van Dijk.
“Every one of us hopes he can recover soon and well.
“There was this contact with Jordan Pickford: it was mistimed contact. But the fact the Premier League is so fast, it is not so difficult to arrive a little bit later.
“Jordan arrived a little bit later but his intention was to try to reach the ball. It was not to hurt Virgil van Dijk.
“To say it was premeditated, and this and that, in my opinion, is too much.
“Virgil van Dijk knows this. Jordan is really sad, really disappointed [that he is injured].
“It was a strong contact, maybe mistimed, but sometimes in football it can happen.”
There are rumours circulating the corridors of Anfield that Van Dijk’s injury is more serious than has been announced and that he will definitely miss the rest of the season and not just the majority of it. This, however, has not been confirmed with the club refusing to put a timescale on his return.
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