Police are appealing for witnesses after former Liverpool defender Andre Wisdom was stabbed in the head and buttocks during a robbery in the city.
The Derby County player was taken to hospital after being knifed by four masked men while visiting relatives in the Toxteth area of the city.
Wisdom was attacked six weeks after Tottenham Hotspur and England star Dele Alli was beaten by masked intruders during a knifepoint robbery at his home, prompting warnings it was only a matter of time before a footballer or a member of his family was seriously injured or killed.
Like Alli, Wisdom had a “designer watch” stolen, compounding fears players’ luxury timepieces are being targeted by criminal gangs.
Merseyside Police said Wisdom had been assaulted while walking to his car at around 4.30am on Sunday morning, hours after helping Derby beat Reading 2-1 in the Championship.
Hi injuries are not believed to be life-threatening but he is likely to miss crucial games in his club’s promotion push, starting with their trip to Preston North End on Wednesday evening.
Detective Sergeant Richie Shillito said: “I would appeal to anyone who was in the area around Beaumont Street around 4.30am who saw anyone or anything suspicious to contact us.
“Similarly, I would ask for anyone who captured anything significant on dash-cam footage to get in touch as they may have information which is vital to our investigation.
“The investigation is in the early stages but we are determined to find the people responsible for this assault and robbery and I would urge anyone who knows anything to come forward.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident was asked to DM @MerPolCC or contact @CrimestoppersUK on 0800 555 111 quoting reference 20000377145.
The robbery was the latest directed at a footballer following the attack on Alli, a raid on Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez’s penthouse and the attempted carjacking of Arsenal duo Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac.
Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen and Crystal Palace counterpart Mamadou Sakho have also been victims of recent burglaries.
“Somebody’s going to get killed,” said Alex Bomberg, the chief executive of security firm Intelligent Protection International, who issued a similar warning following the assault on Alli.
“They need to take their security seriously. Because having a watch that’s worth £50,000, £30,000 upwards, it’s an easy thing for somebody to take off you.”
The recent string of robberies has seen Premier League footballers invest in guard dogs, including Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish and Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury.
Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford are also among those to have dogs as part of their security.