PREMIER LEAGUE

Laporte puts rivalry aside to wish Van Dijk a full and speedy recovery

The Manchester City defender showed camaraderie towards the Liverpool centre-back who faces at least six months on the sidelines.

Laporte puts rivalry aside to wish Van Dijk a full and speedy recovery
CATHERINE IVILL AFP

Rivalry on the pitch is one thing, but that doesn't mean there cannot be solidarity and camaraderie off it. England's football community was shocked by the injury sustained by Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk during the Merseyside derby and a player from one of the Reds' direct rivals Manchester City's  Aymeric Laporte, who plays in the same position, has shown compassion for the Dutch defender.

Van Dijk out until April at least

Yesterday, it was confirmed that Van Dijk will undergo surgery to repair the damaged anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Defending champions Liverpool will be without one of their key players for between six to eight months. Laporte, who missed 26 games for City after suffering a knee injury himself at the start of last season, has the greatest sympathy for Van Dijk.

Laporte sent Van Dijk a message via his Twitter account: "Sorry bro. Best of luck for the quick recovery, never neither fun nor rejoicing even as rivals".

Van Dijk's injury leaves the Premier League champions with just two fit central defenders - Joe Gomez and Joel Matip although Fabinho has dropped back as a makeshift defender whenever Klopp's team have suffered similar, major injury setbacks.