Pep Guardiola says Virgil Van Dijk’s injury is a blow to the whole Premier League.
Liverpool defender Van Dijk requires surgery on an ACL injury in his knee after being forced off in the Merseyside derby last weekend following a challenge from Jordan Pickford.
The influential defender, who played every minute of Liverpool’s impressive Premier League title win last season, is now set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines and could miss the whole of the season.
That is a huge blow to Liverpool and their title aspirations, but Manchester City manager Guardiola does not see any positives from the news.
Asked about the impact Van Dijk’s absence will have on the title race, Guardiola expressed his sympathy for Van Dijk and Liverpool.
“I cannot speak about how it will affect Liverpool. Jurgen can talk about this. We wish him to get well soon and have a good recovery.”
City suffered a similar blow last season with the loss of Aymeric Laporte for five months, and Guardiola was keen to stress how much of a loss Van Dijk will be to the entire league.
“I hate, I don’t like opponents losing important players for a long time,” he continued.
“I don’t know him much but he looks strong so he’s going to come back well. We’ll wait for him to come back to the Premier League to make our league better because the league is better with good players on the pitch and he is one of the best.
“Get well soon and all the best for him, his family and all of Liverpool.”
Laporte himself sent Van Dijk a classy message after new of the Dutchman’s injury was confirmed.
“Sorry bro. Best of luck for the quick recovery, never neither fun nor rejoicing even as rivals,” Laporte wrote on Twitter.