Harvey Elliott has taken to Instagram to defend Pascal Struijk after the Leeds defender’s challenge left the Liverpool teenager with an inflamed ankle.
The Reds were leading 2-0 at Elland Road when the incident happened in the 58th minute when Elliott appeared to dribble into the host’s half before the Dutchman slid in from behind and chopped the ball away with his right foot.
During the trial, however, Struijk’s left leg pinched Elliott’s left ankle and despite play going on for a few seconds, opening scorer Mohamed Salah realized the seriousness of the injury and waved frantically to stop the game so the 18-year-old could undergo treatment before he dropped out. the stretcher was retrieved and taken to the hospital.
Harvey Elliott took to Instagram to defend Pascal Struijk after an inflamed ankle
Leeds man accidentally pinched Elliott’s ankle with his left foot despite winning the ball
Struijk was subsequently ejected and condemned by many fans online who felt he had lost control as he took on the challenge. The match eventually ended 3-0.
However, Elliott has assured fans that he holds no grudges against the former Ajax academy player, saying: ‘It wasn’t his fault, whatever!
“It wasn’t a red card either, it was a freak accident, but things like this happen in football. I come back 100% stronger. Thanks for all the support.’
Just a few hours after the game, Struijk took to social media himself to express his sadness at the incident and wish Elliott a full recovery.
Expert sports surgeon Mike Hennessey, who was in the away game before the game, believes the quick thinking of Liverpool medics means Elliott could be back in action in about six months, with surgery reportedly set to take place tomorrow for a grueling rehabilitation process begins.
Elliott has already received praise since his horrific injury by giving his match-worn shirt and right boot to a patient who was being treated at Leeds General Infirmary alongside the England youth international.
The teenage sensation was left in agony before being treated and taken to hospital
Twitter user @jaytothelo posted a screenshot of a message that read: “My son just broke his arm during a football game this afternoon.
“Who’s going to sleep next to him… Harvey Elliott and his family. Gives him his LFC top from the game and his shoe. Son is buzzing now.’
Sportsmail columnist Mark Clattenburg thought Struijk’s challenge was not bad and that Leeds had a good chance of appealing the red card, as Tottenham did when Andre Gomes suffered a similar horrific injury in 2019 and Son Heung-min was sacked.
A devastated Struijk has expressed his sadness that he is responsible for Elliott’s terrible injury
Liverpool medics’ actions to put Elliott’s ankle in place so quickly have won praise
Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Jamie Redknapp all thought the red card was unfair.
Neville said, “The most important thing is the boy, but I’m not sure if it’s a red card. We’re watching it here, but we can’t show it.
“The red card is more a result of the injury than the tackle. It’s not a good one. Players who originally saw it walked away in shock. Jurgen Klopp is furious.’
Sportsmail’s Mark Clattenburg believes Leeds can successfully appeal Struijk’s dismissal
Redknapp and Hasselbaink both felt that Struijk’s intention to win the ball should have been taken into account.
‘Personally, I think it’s a harmless challenge. Does he want to hurt him? No, of course not,” said Redknapp.
‘I feel sorry for Struijk. I wish him a speedy recovery. I would ask, if he hadn’t broken his ankle, would he have sent him away? I do not think so.
Jamie Redknapp thought it was unfair to send Struijk away because his challenge to Elliott was ‘innocent’
‘Sometimes you can take on challenges, sometimes you can’t. Sometimes accidents happen. It’s a contact sport. I think he made a fair effort to get the ball. It’s one of those horrible moments.’
“I’m with Jamie,” Hasselbaink said. “I don’t think he hurts the player, he goes for the ball. I find it very difficult to answer that.
“We don’t want people to get hurt, whoever it is, or seriously hurt. But we want to see fair tackles, and initially it was fair tackle.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink sided with Redknapp, saying Struijk made an ‘innocent tackle’
‘It’s a very difficult one. We’ve seen more dangerous tackles and nothing happens. I thought it was a harmless tackle – it’s hard to take. I really hope he comes back stronger.”
Elliott’s manager Jurgen Klopp was understandably emotional, saying: “It’s a serious injury. He played an incredible game again, he is an incredible player. Now he’s out.
“Do I want such a young boy to have this experience so early in his career? No, but it is. We must be there and we will be there.
Jurgen Klopp was emotional after the game as he reflected on his young star’s terrible misfortune
“We will play football without him, but we will also wait for him because he is clearly a top, top, top player.
“I saw the situation and then I immediately saw the effect because I could see his foot – not in the right place. That’s why we were all shocked, absolutely.’