Three points were overshadowed on Sunday by the distressing sight of Harvey Elliott writhing on the ground in pain from a bad tackle. The one on the other end of that tackle was Pascal Struijk, the Leeds United defender who was shown a straight red card after the fact.
Now with the news that Elliott is headed for surgery on his ankle and a lengthy time off to recuperate, Struijk issued an apology to Elliott and wished him well via his Instagram.
His statement read, “In today’s game, something happened that I would never wish on anyone! @harveyelliott07, my thoughts are with you. I’m gutted and never meant for this to happen. I wish you a speedy recovery and hope to see you back on the pitch soon.”
No one believes that Struijk leapt into that challenge with the intent to harm the 18-year-old Elliott and stall his career by potentially a full season. However, since mind reading is one of the many talents Premier League referees do not possess, knowing a player’s state of mind isn’t necessary to making this decision.
Struijk committed a dangerous tackle and hurt someone. His red card was justified, but it’s also understandable that he is horrified by the consequence of his rash actions. An apology is the least he can do, but it’s over now, and Elliott’s surgery and rehabilitation is what’s important going forward.