Jordan Pickford has reportedly hired bodyguards after receiving death threats for his tackle on Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk.
Earlier this month, the Everton goalkeeper was responsible for the poorly-timed challenge which left Van Dijk with an ACL injury and looks set to sideline the Dutchman for the remainder of the Premier League season.
Pickford escaped punishment but was heavily criticised in professional quarters, with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp venting his frustration and Reds midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum describing the tackle as ‘stupid’.
But more seriously, it has emerged the England No.1 received numerous death threats over the incident, which are being investigated by Merseyside Police.
As a result, the Daily Mail reports the 26-year-old has hired a security firm to watch over his house in Cheshire, where he lives with his wife and his one-year-old son.
It is claimed Pickford and his family have been advised to stay off social media in order to avoid giving away their location.
Toffees manager Carlo Ancelotti recently launched a passionate defence of Pickford, rubbishing the idea that his challenge was designed to hurt Van Dijk.
“To be clear, we are really sorry for the injury of Virgil van Dijk,” said Ancelotti. “Every one of us hopes he can recover soon and well.
“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].”