Virgil van Dijk injury leaves Liverpool without tactic which Arteta praised

Liverpool are set to be without Virgil van Dijk for a significant chunk off the season after the centre-back damaged his anterior cruciate ligament against Everton on Saturday.

The Reds will miss out on the Dutchman's towering presence, aerial ability and leadership qualities in the next few months.

But they will also miss out on Van Dijk's passing ability, which Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta praised earlier this season.

"They have different weapons," the Gunners boss said of Liverpool when two sides met.

"When you go to the opposite side and do the high press perfect, they have Van Dijk and he plays a 60 yard pass into [Mohamed] Salah's chest and they are out. That's quality."

Jurgen Klopp's side are known for their 'heavy metal' football and intense pressing.

But the Premier League champions can also mix it up and play out from the back.

Van Dijk and Joe Gomez can both comfortably bypass the midfield with their long-range passing.

Time and time again the former has been able to pick out Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane down the flanks from deep inside his own half.

And that part of Liverpool's game will be missing for potentially the rest of the season.

Van Dijk's injury came about following a tackle from Everton's Jordan Pickford.

And the Toffees shot-stopper has came under-fire for the challenge.

“The challenge… just, wow! We give yellow cards so readily and so quickly for minor incidents, and then you see a tackle that is as bad as the one Roy Keane did on Alf-Inge Haaland," pundit Tony Cascarino said.

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“It was just horrendous!

“We talk about dangerous tackles and two-footing and lunging in and being reckless – Jordan Pickford was everything as bad as it could be.

“I don’t think you can ever say it’s intentional – only the player can answer that – but if you are going to throw yourself, launch yourself, at somebody out of control…

“When I saw it I thought, ‘wow!’”

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