Thursday, September 23, 2021

Klopp says Elliott suffered suspected dislocated ankle as Van Dijk promises full support

SoccerNews in English Premier League 12 Sep 2021

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Jurgen Klopp confirmed Harvey Elliott suffered a horrific ankle injury in Liverpool’s win over Leeds United, as Virgil van Dijk promised the youngster all of the club’s support.

Elliott, who has made a bright start to the season for the Reds, suffered the injury in a challenge with Leeds defender Pascal Struijk midway through the second half at Elland Road on Sunday.

Liverpool were leading 2-0 at the time thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and Fabinho, with Elliott receiving lengthy treatment on the pitch before being transferred to hospital.

Struijk, who got the ball with his sliding challenge, was given a straight red card by referee Craig Pawson, with Liverpool going on to cap off a fine performance with Sadio Mane adding a third late on.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Klopp said: “Harvey Elliott is in hospital, a bad ankle injury for sure. It looked like it was dislocated, the medical department put it back.

“Massive pain, shock for him, for us and we don’t know more. We have to wait.”

Klopp went onto the pitch and also talked animatedly to the fourth official while Elliott was receiving treatment, though he insisted he was unconcerned with whether Struijk would see red.

“I couldn’t care less [if it was a red], it is not my business,” he continued. “It is a serious injury, definitely for an 18-year-old boy. The red card is not important. Two or three weeks we can play on, Harvey will not.

“We played a really good game until Harvey had to go, the whole team was shocked and we lost rhythm. That is normal, human.

“We played as good as we can against Leeds. You have to be ready for brutal intensity. The crowd was there and an exciting football game with us as the deserved winner.

“I spoke to the boys afterwards, we have to speak a little bit about the football but Harvey overshadows it. I like intense football so I probably liked the game.”

Klopp was also emotional in his interview with Sky Sports.

“Do I want such a young boy to have this experience in his career? No. We will play football without him, but we will wait for him as well because he is a top player,” he said.

“I saw the situation. I could see his foot was not in the right place. That is why we were all shocked.”

Last season, Liverpool’s Van Dijk suffered a similarly serious injury when he sustained anterior cruciate ligament damage due to a challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

The injury kept Van Dijk out for the rest of the campaign as Liverpool relinquished the Premier League title they won for the first time in 2019-20.

“First and foremost all of our thoughts and prayers are going to Harvey, hopefully he recovers quickly and as good as possible from it,” Van Dijk told Sky Sports.

“We have no idea of the diagnosis of it but obviously it looks bad. For the moment it happened I think you saw Mo [Salah] already shouting to the side that it was really serious, then you look at the reaction of Harvey, you know that it’s really serious.”

Asked if his personal experience will mean he can provide support to Elliott, Van Dijk replied: “Yes, 100 per cent.

“I’ve experienced all the players, staff, everyone around Liverpool, the fans had my back and were there for me in difficult times too. I’m sure we will all be there for him and the club will be there for him no matter what.”

Shortly after full time, Elliott posted a message to his official Instagram account.

“Thank you for all the messages guys,” the post read. “Road to recovery. YNWA.”

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