Virgli van Dijk 'ready for the challenge' as he recovers from ACL injury

Virgil van Dijk was injured in a challenge with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during Saturday's Merseyside derby. Credit: PA

Virgil van Dijk has said that he is "ready for the challenge" of recovering from the injury he suffered during Saturday's Merseyside derby.

The Liverpool defender faces a lengthy lay-off as he undergoes surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament, which he damaged in a challenge with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

In a post on Twitter, the 2019 PFA player of the year said that he is fully focused on his recovery and will do everything he can to be back playing as soon as possible.

The injury leaves the reds with just two recognised centre-backs in Joel Matip, who has been plagued by niggling injuries himself, and Joe Gomez.

Jurgen Klopp opted not to replace Dejan Lovren when he left for Zenit St Petersburg in the summer and was content to gamble on utilising midfielder Fabinho as cover.

Jordan Pickford escaped punishment for the challenge due to VAR official David Coote overlooking the tackle after ruling on the Holland captain's offside in the build-up.

The club have lodged a request with the Premier League asking for a review of the Merseyside derby VAR decisions.

They have asked why Pickford's challenge on Van Dijk was not considered for a red card just because the Dutchman had been ruled offside by a replay and also for an explanation on the mechanics which saw Sadio Mane ruled offside in the build-up to what would have been a Jordan Henderson added-time winner.