Tony Dorigo lauds Liverpool star after Pascal Struijk red card
Tony Dorigo has told the Yorkshire Evening Post that he thought Virgil van Dijk showed his class by speaking to Pascal Struijk after the Leeds United starlet’s challenge resulted in Harvey Elliott sustaining a serious injury.
The incident involving Elliott overshadowed Liverpool’s win at Elland Road. It resulted in Struijk receiving a red card.
However, it was clear that Struijk had not intended to hurt the teenager. He had dived in to try and hook the ball away as Elliott attempted to counter.
Unfortunately, his trailing leg seemed to trap his opponent’s ankle in the turf.
Obviously, the large majority of the concern was for Elliott as it became apparent just how serious the problem was. But many of the Leeds stars headed for Struijk to console the 22-year-old.
There was also a moment when van Dijk went over to the Leeds man. Clearly, it is impossible to know what was said.
But it does appear that the Liverpool man may have been looking to help Struijk in some way. Of course, van Dijk will have been able to empathise with Struijk as a defender himself.
And Dorigo felt that it was a moment for which the Liverpool man deserves some praise on a tough day in Struijk’s young career.
“[Elliott] very quickly got the best help possible, but it’s awful for him and for Struijk as well,” he told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“I was pleased to see a bit of class from Virgil van Dijk, who came and had a word with Struijk.
“I’m sure that helped because he didn’t mean it, everyone understands that.”
Van Dijk gesture all the more impressive given he will know hurdles that lie ahead for Elliott
Van Dijk himself is still working his way back to full sharpness after spending the large majority of last season on the sidelines due to injury.
In his case, his injury came after an awful challenge from Jordan Pickford. Remarkably, the goalkeeper was never sent off.
He will have probably had a better idea than most of what lies ahead for Elliott. So it arguably says a lot that he did seemingly console Struijk.
Obviously, there is a big difference between the two challenges. But Dorigo is right to suggest that it was classy gesture given everything going on.
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