FIFA to pay Joe Gomez’s Liverpool wages after knee surgery

Gomez underwent surgery on a knee injury sustained in a training session with Gareth Southgate’s squad last week.

He is expected to miss the bulk of the Reds season alongside centre back partner Virgil Van Dijk, leaving Jurgen Klopp with a real injury headache to deal with.

However, the club’s case for financial compensation has now been upheld according to reports from the Liverpool Echo.

Klopp is likely to dip into the January transfer market to source a temporary replacement with former Watford defender Daryl Janmaat on his list of targets.

That’s the latest from Anfield, check back in tomorrow for more with the Sport Social.

Liverpool’s Joe Gomez has surgery on injured knee

The centre-back, who was set to be involved in Three Lions games against the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland, damaged a tendon in his left knee while training at St George’s Park and has had a successful procedure to repair the problem.

There were fears that the injury was similar to the season-ending one that Virgil van Dijk suffered earlier this campaign, but the Reds have confirmed there was no ligament damage.

They did not, however, put a timescale on his return, though it is expected to be a lengthy absence.

A statement on Liverpool’s Twitter feed read: “@J_Gomez97 has today undergone successful surgery to repair a tendon in his left knee.

“The issue was isolated to Gomez’s tendon, with no damage to any other associated knee ligaments and Joe will now begin a rehabilitation programme with our medical team.”

It is another blow to the defending champions as Gomez, 23, joins team-mates Van Dijk and Fabinho in the treatment room, leaving Joel Matip as the only fit senior centre-back on Liverpool’s books.

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate was worried when he saw the incident happen.

“What was upsetting was to see he was in a fair bit of pain and the fact was there was nobody around him when the injury happened, so I didn’t like that element of it,” he said at his press conference on Wednesday evening.

“So, as I say, my immediate thoughts are with him because he’s had some difficulties with injury in the past, so we’re hoping as much as we possibly can and praying that it’s not going to be a long-term one but we just have to see.”

Gomez has not had much luck with injuries over the last few years.

Gomez suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury while playing for Southgate’s England Under-21s in October 2015 and injured his ankle representing the senior team in a friendly against Holland in March 2018 before breaking his leg later that year.

Klopp fumes at Everton derby tactics

Van Dijk’s knee injury is a huge blow to their long-term hopes of defending the Premier League title and going deep in Europe again and the manner of his injury still rankles within the Reds squad.

His Holland team-mate Wijnaldum said Jordan Pickford’s high challenge was “stupid” and that Everton “take it way too far in the games we play against them”.

“We know it is a derby and everyone wants to win so sometimes you go a little bit over the top but it was too much,” said the Dutchman.

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

“Accidents can always happen in football, you can be unlucky with a tackle and injure someone but the way they were doing it is completely unacceptable.”

Klopp said both challenges were “difficult to accept”.

“Injuries happen in football, very often in challenges but often both players just try to play the ball,” he said.

“That was not the case in these two challenges and it makes it so different and difficult to take.”

Pundits have already started to write off Liverpool’s season without Van Dijk but that has only angered Klopp more.

His mood was not helped by the fact he will have to pair midfielder Fabinho alongside Joe Gomez at centre-back as Joel Matip did not travel as a precaution after also sustaining a knock on Saturday.

“I am old enough. I know how the world is. I know what people do. A lot of people speak before they think,” he said.

“We have a situation. We are here without Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip and we will still give it a try. What can we do now?

“People can say what they want, it is a free world, but three weeks ago, they said we would run away (with the league).

“Now, three weeks later, we are not even in contention for anything any more. That’s football. That’s the world right now. We cannot be that excited. We have to stay calm.

“Why should I think the boys cannot deal with the situation? But the number of questions you ask suggests you think we will all struggle with it.

“So we have to prove you wrong? I am not even interested in proving you wrong. I am only interested in the best for Liverpool and for my players.

“Hopefully the results in the next few weeks will calm you all slightly down but I cannot promise it.”

Brighton put £50m price tag on defender Ben White

That’s the message from the Seagulls according to the latest reports, which claim that the South Coast club have placed a £50m price tag on the promising centre back.

White was of significant interest to Leeds United throughout the summer transfer window after his impressive spell on loan at Elland Road last season, playing a key role in helping Marcelo Bielsa’s side earn promotion back to the Premier League after 16 years away.

As such, Leeds were keen to tun the loan deal for White in to a permanent one but were priced out of the deal by Brighton, with Graham Potter featuring the 23-year-old in his plans for the campaign.

Now, with Liverpool talisman Virgil van Dijk set for an extended stay on the sidelines due to a cruciate ligament injury and Joel Matip also suffering niggling problems, the Premier League Champions may swoop for the Albion man as a defensive reinforcement.

Of course, Jurgen Klopp will have to wait until January when the transfer window reopens before making any move for White – but when the time does come, he may have to bite the bullet and cough up the significant asking price if he really wants his man.

Pickford escapes punishment for van Dijk challenge

The PA news agency understands the England international will escape punishment as the incident during Saturday’s 2-2 derby draw at Goodison Park was seen by the match officials.

Under the Football Association’s disciplinary rules, retrospective action can be taken if an incident was either not seen at the time or when it was reviewed by VAR.

Van Dijk was forced from the field after the pair collided during a Reds’ attack with Pickford desperately trying to block the defender’s passage to goal.

The incident was reviewed by VAR official David Coote with the Holland international adjudged to have been offside before he was caught by the keeper, although it was later suggested that the actual challenge had not been re-examined and referee Michael Oliver was not asked to take a second look.

However, former referee Dermot Gallagher has insisted Pickford should have been dismissed.

Gallagher told Sky Sports News: “There are three steps: is it offside? Is it a penalty? Is there further sanction?

“Is it a penalty? Well, it is a penalty, so you have got to go back and check if it’s offside. They check the offside, it is offside, so that negates the penalty, so I think what they’ve done, they’ve gone back from step 2 to step 1.

“Obviously step 1 eliminates step 2 and it got overlooked to go to step 3, which it should have done and we all know it should have been a red card..

“It was just a human error and all we can do is apologise for it and there’s nothing more you can say.”

Liverpool have confirmed that Van Dijk suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage in the incident and is expected to be sidelined for several months as a result of surgery, although he is yet to be ruled out for the remainder of the season.

Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk left needing knee surgery after Jordan Pickford challenge

News of anterior cruciate ligament damage to the 29-year-old, sustained in a controversial high challenge by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in Saturday’s 2-2 Merseyside derby draw, is the nightmare scenario for the Reds.

“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.

Not only does the injury rob them of one of their most influential players for the majority of their Premier League title defence, but also leaves Liverpool with just two senior centre-backs in Joel Matip, who has been plagued by niggling injuries himself, and Joe Gomez.

Jurgen Klopp opted not to replace Dejan Lovren when he left for Zenit St Petersburg in the summer and was content to gamble on utilising midfielder Fabinho as cover.

The damage suffered in his clash with Pickford, for which the Everton goalkeeper escaped punishment due to VAR official David Coote overlooking the tackle after ruling on the Holland captain’s offside in the build-up, means Van Dijk will have to have an operation.

However, club sources are unwilling to write off his season just yet, considering the player’s previously excellent fitness record, and remain hopeful he can still play a part in the campaign at some point.

Van Dijk released a statement on Sunday night in which 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,” he posted on Twitter.

“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.”

The injury leaves Klopp with an immediate headache as he faces having to field the untested pair of Matip, whose return in the Merseyside derby was his first appearance since the opening day, and Gomez, who was dropped at the weekend after some recent patchy form.

The 23-year-old Nat Phillips, with just one FA Cup appearance to his name either side of two loan spells at Stuttgart last season, is now the back-up option, with the highly-rated but unproven 17-year-old Billy Koumetio another alternative.

Liverpool’s defence has looked leaky already this season, conceding 13 goals in five matches, including seven at Aston Villa, with Van Dijk in the back four, so his absence for any length of time would raise real questions about their chances of staying the distance in a title race.

Klopp, however, was keen to throw his backing behind Gomez after a shaky couple of weeks.

“The set-piece (for Everton’s first) was unlucky because Virgil was not on the pitch, we sorted it in the game but it was the first corner when he was not on the pitch,” he said.

“Joe Gomez played a sensational game, a good game. I am not worried about the boys.

“The problem we have at the moment is that I am not really in a good mood, I have injured players in the dressing room and that is not good.”

The news on midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who also went for a scan on a knee problem sustained in the tackle which saw Richarlison sent off late on, is slightly more promising.

Liverpool have to wait for the injury to settle but are optimistic it is not serious, although their £20m summer signing from Bayern Munich is unlikely to feature this week against Ajax.

The club have lodged a request with the Premier League asking for a review of the Merseyside derby VAR decisions.

They have asked why Pickford’s challenge on Van Dijk was not considered for a red card just because the Dutchman had been ruled offside by a replay and also for an explanation on the mechanics which saw Sadio Mane ruled offside in the build-up to what would have been a Jordan Henderson added-time winner.

Liverpool are also understood to be concerned by the confusing and contradictory messaging emanating from the Premier League.

While not calling into question of the integrity of officials, the club believe it is crucial to have more transparency around how and why the outcomes were determined for the integrity of the game for everyone and the safety of players. Conflicting versions of events, it is understood, have left Liverpool officials deeply troubled.

Everton secure dramatic 2-2 Merseyside derby draw against Liverpool

With local pride at stake at Goodison Park neither side were in any mood to back down as the hosts twice came from behind to secure a vital point.

Jurgen Klopp’s side flew out of the traps against their neighbours as Sadio Mane raced in behind to fire them ahead after three minutes

The visitors were almost handed a golden opportunity for a second two minutes later, but referee Michael Oliver made the first of a string of bizarre decisions.

Blues keeper Jordan Pickford clattered into Virgil van Dijk from a corner and despite the Liverpool’s screams for a penalty, Oliver pulled it back for an offside against the Dutchman.

That call knocked Liverpool’s first half focus as Everton grabbed an equaliser on 20 minutes.

With van Dijk off injured, there was no one to marshall the defence at a corner, and Michael Keane got up highest to bullet home.

The hosts then picked up the pace after the break with James Rodriguez beginning to pull the strings and Richarlison firing against the post.

And with the Blues unable to edge in front the ever efficient champions ruthlessly punished them.

Yerry Mina’s clearance on the edge of the box was a poor one and Mo Salah powered home the loose ball.

But despite the balance tipping in Liverpool’s favour, Everton have proved themselves to be a different beast this season as man of the moment Dominic Calvert-Lewin nodded them level.

However, with both sides going hammer and tongs in the final few minutes it was to be Oliver that decided the outcome.

He didn’t even blink before flashing a red card at Richarlison for scything down Thiago.

And with Klopp screaming on from the sidelines, skipper Jordan Henderson benefitted from another Pickford mistake to put the Reds in front.

But Oliver was determined to be the headline act as after long long VAR check he controversially ruled it out for a marginal offside.

FULL TIME AT A BREATHLESS GOODISON PARK IT’S EVERTON 2 LIVERPOOL 2

Liverpool edge out Leeds United in 4-3 Premier League thriller

Marcelo Bielsa’s side were fearless at Anfield, as goals from Jack Harrison, Patrick Bamford and Mateusz Klich announced their arrival back in the big time.

Liverpool showed plenty of drive in attack, but an uncharacteristically wobbly back line will be a real concern for Jurgen Klopp.

Mo Salah got the ball rolling after just three minutes, as the Egyptian international powered home from the penalty spot.

Leeds refused to be overpowered by their hosts however, as Harrison cut in off the left wing to smash a deserved equaliser past Alisson.

Virgil Van Dijk headed Liverpool back in front shortly after, but his poor back pass allowed Bamford to bring Leeds back on level terms.

And with neither side able to keep the back door closed, Salah popped up again to rocket Liverpool into their third first half lead.

Despite falling behind for a third time, Bielsa’s side refused to change their approach after the break, and their high pressing style got them back into it just after the hour.

Klich pounced on a loose ball in midfield, he slipped in Helder Costa, before driving on into the box and powering past Alisson.

The visitors looked the more likely to nick a late winner, but despite Leeds’ impressive return, they were dealt a harsh lesson in Premier League reality in the final minutes.

Substitute Rodrigo collided with Fabinho to concede a penalty, and Salah kept his calm to bury his third goal of the night and all three points for the Reds.

FULL TIME AT ANFIELD IT’S LIVERPOOL 4 LEEDS UNITED 3

Liverpool edge out Leeds United in 4-3 Premier League thriller

Marcelo Bielsa’s side were fearless at Anfield, as goals from Jack Harrison, Patrick Bamford and Mateusz Klich announced their arrival back in the big time.

Liverpool showed plenty of drive in attack, but an uncharacteristically wobbly back line will be a real concern for Jurgen Klopp.

Mo Salah got the ball rolling after just three minutes, as the Egyptian international powered home from the penalty spot.

Leeds refused to be overpowered by their hosts however, as Harrison cut in off the left wing to smash a deserved equaliser past Alisson.

Virgil Van Dijk headed Liverpool back in front shortly after, but his poor back pass allowed Bamford to bring Leeds back on level terms.

And with neither side able to keep the back door closed, Salah popped up again to rocket Liverpool into their third first half lead.

Despite falling behind for a third time, Bielsa’s side refused to change their approach after the break, and their high pressing style got them back into it just after the hour.

Klich pounced on a loose ball in midfield, he slipped in Helder Costa, before driving on into the box and powering past Alisson.

The visitors looked the more likely to nick a late winner, but despite Leeds’ impressive return, they were dealt a harsh lesson in Premier League reality in the final minutes.

Substitute Rodrigo collided with Fabinho to concede a penalty, and Salah kept his calm to bury his third goal of the night and all three points for the Reds.

FULL TIME AT ANFIELD IT’S LIVERPOOL 4 LEEDS UNITED 3

Newcastle United 1-3 Liverpool: Klopp’s side secure comeback win at St. James’ Park

Jurgen Klopp’s side haven’t broken the magic 100-point mark this season, but goals from Virgil Van Dijk, Divock Origi and Sadio Mane secured a winning end to 2019-20.

Klopp opted to rest a host of his stars for the trip to St. James’, and it looked like a mistake from the German, as his were caught out inside the first 30 seconds.

Former Reds midfielder Jonjo Shelvey wasted no time in clipping a quick free kick over Van Dijk, and Dwight Gayle raced clear to slot the hosts in front.

That goal was a shock to system for Liverpool, as they struggled to break Newcastle down.

But despite not creating much in the first half, Van Dijk headed them level just before the break from a whipped Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain free kick.

Liverpool were back the old selves after the break, as Van Dijk drew a fine stop from Martin Dubravka just after the restart.

Klopp’s side went up through the gears from there, as Origi curled them in front on the hour mark.

That goal took the edge off any potential Newcastle fightback, as Klopp brought on the cavalry of Salah, Mane and Firmino in the closing stages.

And with Newcastle looking tired in the closing minutes, Liverpool showed that touch of title winning ruthlessness, as Mane stepped onto Firmino’s pass to fire past Dubravaka.

FULL TIME ST. JAMES’ PARK IT’S NEWCASTLE UNITED 1 LIVERPOOL 3