Liverpool star Alisson Becker has given his verdict on Jordan Pickford’s challenge on teammate Virgil van Dijk. The Englishman clashed into the Dutchman in the opening stages of the Merseyside derby, causing the Liverpool man to limp out of the game. It was later revealed that van Dijk picked up an ACL injury and is more or less ruled out for the rest of the season.
The Englishman went unpunished for the challenge during the game and Liverpool were further angered when the goalkeeper escaped any action from the FA.
Alisson was ruled out for the derby due to an injury picked up in training, but has returned to action of late. And the Brazilian has expressed his views on the incident now.
Alisson believes Liverpool are strong enough to deal with the injury setbacks
The Liverpool goalkeeper said that Pickford was not in control of the challenge that effectively ended van Dijk’s season. He acknowledged that every goalkeeper had a different style of play, but deemed the Englishman’s movement at that point of time ‘unnecessary.’
“Every goalkeeper has a different way to play and a different way to move. But in that moment, 100 percent, it was not a necessary movement.”
Alisson went on to reveal his own state of mind during such situations and reiterated that he did not agree with Pickford’s style of play.
“Thinking what I have in my mind when I go for a situation – I go to finish the situation. If I go too soft, I know the opponent can score. But everyone has their own way to go for the ball. I don’t agree with that way [Pickford on Van Dijk] – everybody can see that. It was just an unnecessary moment and movement.”
Van Dijk’s injury left the Reds with just one first-team center-back – Joe Gomez – in the team. However, the Englishman partnered well with Brazilian Fabinho to help Liverpool win the next three games, before the Brazilian himself picked up a hamstring injury against Midtjylland.
While things are looking downhill for Liverpool, Alisson believes the time is ripe for the Reds to show the world their pedigree. He admitted that the team would miss the Dutchman but said that the situation will showcase Liverpool’s strength.
“We have everything we need to keep doing our job, playing our football, playing the way we play. We don’t need to make changes. Obviously you will miss some things – [like] Virgil’s headers!”
“He doesn’t just help us in the defensive phase but attacking and scoring goals as well. But this will prove the strength of our team. We are a really strong side with many players who can play.”
Published 30 Oct 2020, 18:29 IST