Van Dijk injury left Liverpool ‘sleepless’ as Wijnaldum brands Pickford ‘stupid’

Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum has branded Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford as "stupid" for his reckless challenge on Virgil van Dijk.

Wijnaldum's club and international team-mate now faces being sidelined for the bulk of the season.

A knee injury sustained from a high tackle by Pickford early in Saturday's 2-2 Merseyside derby draw has seriously damaged Liverpool's season.

And it also left the Reds players feeling particularly upset as they were less than impressed with the Everton keeper's conduct.

Richarlison was later sent off for another bad challenge, that time on summer signing Thiago Alcantara.

Liverpool go into their Champions League opener tomorrow against Ajax without Dutchman Van Dijk and midfield talent Thiago.

Wijnaldum is not happy and said: “Of course we are upset. The way Pickford went into the challenge was completely, in my opinion, stupid.

“I believe that he didn’t want to injure Virgil the way he injured him but the way he took the tackle, he didn’t care about what happened after the tackle.

“I think we had it a lot with the games against Everton. In my opinion, they take it way too far in the games we play against them.

“We know it’s a derby and everyone wants to win the derby but they took it a little bit over the top.

“The tackle from Richarlison on Thiago was also a nasty tackle.

“The way they were doing it [tackling] was completely unacceptable. It makes it harder that Pickford will not be punished.”

He added: “We’re still devastated. This was different than normal. The way it happened is really hard for us.

“Everyone still has a really bad feeling about it.

“When we were speaking with lads about it Saturday, none of the lads slept because of what happened to Virgil and the way it happened.

“It is a really hard one to take and hard for the team.”

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