Police have vowed to investigate threats made to Everton player Jordan Pickford along with teammate Richarlison after Saturday’s clash between Everton and Liverpool.
Pickford will face no disciplinary action for the challenge that looks to have left Virgil van Dijk on the sidelines for the rest of the season through injury.
He slid in towards the Liverpool star in the 10th minute of the Merseyside derby but will not be punished for the challenge that will see van Dijk undergo surgery after injuring his anterior cruciate ligament.
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Now police have revealed that threatening tweets were sent to Pickford while racist abuse was directed at Richarlison after he was sent off for a challenge on Thiago Alcantra.
A Merseyside Police spokesman said: “The language used in the tweets is totally unacceptable and we are taking the reports extremely seriously.
“Those who use the internet to target others, and who commit criminal offences such as making threats or committing a hate crime in doing so, are not beyond the law.
“Detectives are making inquiries to identify the individuals who posted the tweets and where we identify offences we will take action to bring those responsible to justice.”
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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said supporting van Dijk is his priority after the talismanic Dutch defender suffered cruciate knee ligament damage that will likely end his season.
The 29-year-old’s arrival from Southampton for a then world record £75 million ($A137m) fee for a defender in January 2018 has transformed Liverpool’s fortunes.
The Reds won the Champions League in 2019 and the Premier League for the first time in 30 years last season.
“We are there for him, he knows that and we will wait for him like a good wife is waiting when the husband is in jail and will do, meanwhile, all what we can do to make it as easy for him as possible,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
The club have refused to put a timeframe on Van Dijk’s return, but Klopp acknowledged he was facing up to a prolonged period without one of his most important players.
“He now will be out for a while, that’s clear. We don’t want to set any timeframe, to be honest, because each player is different and each individual is different,” he added.
“So we feel now in this moment extremely, extremely for him because most of us were in a similar situation and we know that these situations are absolutely rubbish.
“You don’t need it. You don’t need it but you have to get over it and Virgil will get over it, 100 per cent, and today is already the first day, if you want, of the recovery.”