Liverpool skipper Virgil van Dijk could face as many as four matches on the sidelines after being sent off against Newcastle United during their 2-1 win over the Magpies, it has been revealed.
The Reds captain was sent off midway through the first half after being shown a straight red card for a challenge on Alexander Isak, in which he was deemed to be the last man and denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity.
In normal circumstances, he would miss just one game against Aston Villa, but there is scope for that to be extended.
This is due to his reaction to the sending off, with the 31-year-old having berated the referees and fourth official on several occasions and seeming to have mouthed to the referee that the decision was “F***ing B*llocks”.
The Times claim that Van Dijk is set to be hit with a three-match suspension for the first-half foul on Alexander Isak which led to him being shown a straight red card in Liverpool’s 2-1 win’, before adding that ‘‘he FA is to review the report of referee John Brooks before deciding [he] should face additional punishment for showing dissent”.
As a result, that ban could be extended to four games. In turn, Van Dijk could miss games against Aston Villa, Tottenham, Wolves and West Ham United, which only further underlines the issue surrounding Liverpool’s backline.
Joe Gomez deputised for Van Dijk alongside Joel Matip in the game against Newcastle, which a late brace from Darwin Nunez saw them win 2-1 in shock fashion.
Liverpool are still expected to be active in the final week of the transfer market, with a defender and another midfielder on Jurgen Klopp’s wishlist ahead of Friday’s deadline, while question marks continue to surround the future of Egyptian Mo Salah.