By Conor Allington

Photo Creds: Mehdi Bolourian

Liverpool suffered a huge blow in retaining their Premier League crown on Saturday as centre back Virgil Van Dijk suffered a season ending injury.

The Dutchman had to withdraw from the 237th Merseyside Derby after just 6 minutes due to a horrendous challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

It was reported after the game that Van Dijk had suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and will undergo surgery on his knee.

The 29-year-old insisted that he will return fitter and stronger than ever before, posting a letter on his twitter page to provide fans an update on his injury.

He said, “Despite the obvious disappointment, I’m a firm believer that within difficulty lies opportunity and with God’s help I’m going to make sure i return better, fitter and stronger than ever before.”

“In football, as in life, I believe everything happens for a reason and it is important to try and keep levelheaded whether going through the highs or the lows.”

Footballers from all around the world have showed their support to Van Dijk consoling him on what will be a difficult road to recovery.

Current and former teammates along with players from other teams have taken to social media to offer their support to the Netherlands captain.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson posted: “The comeback is always stronger than the setback, recover well my brother, we’ll be waiting for you.”

Joe Gomez took to Instagram to show his love for his centre back partner: “If anyone can come back stronger it’s you. We will all miss you, but here to support you every step of the way big brother…Comeback season.”

Scottish captain and current reds teammate Andy Robertson posted: “Hopefully see that smile back on your face soon my friend! We are with you every step of the way brother.”

Summer signing Thiago Alcantara wished his new teammate all the best, tweeting: “Get well soon, bro!”

With Thiago’s former teammate Thomas Muller also taking to Twitter to offer his support: “Get well soon, Virgil! All the best.”

Manchester City centre half Aymeric Laporte put aside his rivalry as he tweeted: “Sorry bro. Best of luck for the quick recovery, never neither fun nor rejoicing even as rivals.”

Holland teammate Patrick Van Aanholt posted a photo of his country’s captain with the caption “Back stronger.”

Georginio Wijnaldum who plays with Van Dijk at both club and International level tweeted: “Very sadly Big bro got injured on the knee and need to undergo surgery. We are going to miss you enormously. Wishing you a soon recovery and come back even stronger bro.”

Former Liverpool midfielder Luis Garcia tweeted: “Frustrating!! Very sad news. Get well soon mate, we’ll see you back on the field soon.”

Current Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker also showed his support as he posted: “Such a shame. Wish @VirgilvDijk a speedy recovery.”

With so much support from players, former players and pundits along with love from all the fans, Virgil Van Dijk will be sure to be back stronger and better than ever before.