It’s been almost a week since the Merseyside derby, but the furore surrounding Jordan Pickford’s ill-timed tackle on Virgil van Dijk has refused to subside.
Only a linesman’s offside flag stopped the Everton custodian from getting at least a booking for the incident, with most believing that the challenge was worthy of a straight red.
The outcome of the tackle was that the Dutchman will miss most, if not all of the season.
However, the incident has clearly affected Pickford too.
“To be clear, we are really sorry for the injury of Virgil van Dijk,” Everton manager, Carlo Ancelotti, told the official Everton website.
“Every one of us hopes he can recover soon and well. There was this contact with Jordan Pickford: it was mistimed contact.
“But the fact the Premier League is so fast, it is not so difficult to arrive a little bit later.
“Jordan arrived a little bit later but his intention was to try to reach the ball. It was not to hurt Virgil van Dijk.
“To say it was premeditated, and this and that, in my opinion, is too much. Virgil van Dijk knows this.
“Jordan is really sad, really disappointed [that Van Dijk is injured].
“It was a strong contact, maybe mistimed, but sometimes in football it can happen.”
Although it by no means makes up for the keeper’s recklessness, it’s important to remember that he too will need looking after.
Form and attitude may dip even further as a result of not having his mind fully focused on future games.
As Ancelotti notes, it wasn’t an intentional act to injure an opponent, and one can only hope for a swift and full recovery for van Dijk.