Van Dijk looks set to miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury following Pickford’s poor challenge.
After just six minutes of the Merseyside derby, Jordan Pickford clumsily lunged into Virgil Van Dijk and collided with the Dutchman’s knee.
A scan has confirmed that the Liverpool defender injured his anterior cruciate ligament during the incident.
Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness described the goalkeeper’s challenge, which brought no punishment from the referee, as ‘assault’ while Jamie Carragher insisted that there was no intent from the Toffees’ goalkeeper.
However, The Athletic are reporting that Pickford will not face retrospective punishment from the FA for the challenge.
It has been reported that VAR reviewed the incident in question and determined that Liverpool were not awarded a penalty because Van Dijk was in an offside position.
VAR is also said to have concluded that Pickford’s tackle did not meet the threshold for a red card.
The FA’s retrospective ban policy extends only for red card offences that are not seen by match officials during the game, including VAR, and Pickford’s challenged was checked over at the time.
Therefore the England goalkeeper will not be facing any disciplinary action for his challenge.
Liverpool confirmed that Van Dijk will face a lengthy spell on the sidelines with the injury.
“Following surgery, Van Dijk will begin a rehabilitation programme with the club’s medical team to enable him to reach full fitness as soon as possible,” a club statement said.
Van Dijk released a statement where he vowed to come back stronger than ever.
“This afternoon I met with a leading consultant to start the process of planning the finer details of my rehabilitation following the incident yesterday. I’m now fully focused on my recovery and will do everything I can to be back as quickly as possible.
“Despite the obvious disappointment I’m a firm believer that within difficulty lies opportunity and with God’s help I’m going to make sure I return better, fitter and stronger than ever before. In football, as in life, I believe everything happens for a reason and it’s important to try and keep level headed whether going through the highs or the lows. With the support of my wife, kids, family and everyone at Liverpool, I’m ready for the challenge ahead.
“I’d like to thank everyone for the messages of support, it’s meant a huge amount to me and my family, and I’ll now be doing everything possible to support my team-mates in any way I can ahead of a big few weeks ahead as I take my own recovery day by day. I’ll be back.”
Liverpool’s next fixture is their opening Champions League match against Ajax in Amsterdam on Wednesday.