Liverpool journalist Ian Doyle has made a claim on Reds defender Nat Phillips and his role in the current team.
This comes after Doyle recently made an appearance on the latest episode of the Liverpool Echo’s Blood Red Podcast where he reflected on the Merseyside club’s recent 2-0 win over Sheffield United in the Premier League.
On the subject of Phillips, who played the entire match at Bramall Lane next to Ozan Kabak in central defence, Doyle had this to say about the Englishman.
He said: “I think he’s now the first-choice [centre-back], he has to be, he hasn’t let anybody down.
“He’s not exactly come from nowhere, but he’s somebody who has come in from the cold. [He] could have easily been sold quickly back in October, and he’s shown himself to be somebody that Jurgen Klopp can rely on and he’s somebody who has obviously trained with the team for quite a few years now, so he knows the way that Jurgen Klopp works, and he offers something different to all the other centre-backs Liverpool have got at the moment.”
Liverpool originally signed Phillips to their U23 squad from Bolton Wanderers’ U23 side on a free transfer in August 2016.
TIF Thoughts on Ian Doyle’s comments on Phillips…
Taking into account how Liverpool have Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip out with serious injuries and that Phillips managed to earn himself a solid match rating of 7.11/10 for his performance against the Blades, blocking more shots (2) than any other Liverpool player, it’s understandable why Doyle was impressed with him and thinks he should be the first-choice centre-back moving forward.
Do you think Phillips should be Liverpool's first-choice defender?
As well as this match against Sheffield United, the fact that Phillips has a higher overall season rating with 6.95/10 than any other Liverpool defender apart from Matip, backs up Doyle’s point that Klopp can rely on Phillips to play well when called upon.