Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has backed teammate Virgil van Dijk to come back stronger from the ACL injury which will keep him sidelined for the foreseeable future.
The 29-year-old centre-back, who picked up the injury after a wild challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, is expected to miss the majority of the current campaign after undergoing surgery to help repair his knee.
It’s one of the toughest injuries for any athlete to come back from, but Wijnaldum told VI that he believes Van Dijk is strong enough to overcome the adversity.
“Virgil will return with God’s will,” Wijnaldum said. “It is a difficult time for him; this is the worst thing you can experience as a football player.
“You go through hell. But I think he is very strong. We FaceTime every now and then and that is very nice.”
Dutch team-mate Memphis Depay also chimed in on Van Dijk’s injury, admitting he was left seething when he saw Pickford’s challenge on the defender.
“At first I didn’t see the tackle myself,” Depay told FOX Sports. “I have to say I saw him walk off the field and when I saw the replays after that, I did use some words that I can’t repeat. How you can injure someone like that? That’s bizarre for me.
“I’ll leave it at that, it’s very disappointing. It hurts the whole team, including everyone around him. And of course most of all for him.”
Depay then went on to offer up some words of support to Van Dijk, remembering his own experiences with a similar injury earlier this year.
“What can I say? We can only support him,” he added. “I’ve walked that route, I know what it feels like. I’m here for him.”