Chris Sutton: Liverpool FC star Virgil van Dijk's injury has blow open the title race
Chris Sutton has his say on Virgil van Dijk's injury blow after the Liverpool FC defender was ruled out for a number of months
Chris Sutton believes that Liverpool FC star Virgil van Dijk’s knee injury has blown open this season’s Premier League title race.
The talismanic Dutch defender is set to miss a large portion of the season after he suffered a serious knee injury during Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Everton at Goodison Park in the Premier League.
Van Dijk will now undergo surgery on his knee and it is unclear exactly how long the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) problem will keep him out of action.
Much of Liverpool FC’s success in recent seasons has been credited to the 29-year-old’s solid performances at the back since he signed for the Reds from Southampton in January 2018.
And Sutton now feels that Van Dijk’s lay-off will be akin to when Manchester City’s defensive woes after they lost Vincent Kompany and failed to replace him.
Writing in his column for the Daily Mail, Sutton said: “Losing Virgil van Dijk can be the difference between Liverpool winning the Premier League and losing their grip on the trophy they waited so long to lift.
“We saw what happened to Manchester City after they lost their talisman Vincent Kompany and failed to replace him.
“They surrendered to Liverpool, finishing 18 points behind Jurgen Klopp’s men. This is akin to that.
“The title race is on. This is the world’s best central defender who will now have to watch his team try to cope without him.
“You have to say news of this magnitude means Liverpool’s chances of winning what they want in England and Europe this season have taken a hit.
“It was a disgraceful challenge by Jordan Pickford and one which should have seen the Everton goalkeeper dismissed.”
Liverpool FC will kick off their Champions League campaign on Wednesday night when they travel to take on Ajax in their group-stage opener.
The Reds will then switch their attention back towards Premier League affairs and their home clash against Sheffield United at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.
Liverpool FC won the Premier League title in style last term as they finished 18 points ahead of Manchester City, and it remains to be seen how much of an impact the loss of Van Dijk will be for the Merseyside outfit.