Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside via Getty Images

David James makes big Nat Phillips claim after Liverpool beat Burnley on Wednesday night

David James has told Stadium Astro that he believes Liverpool defender Nat Phillips could be the perfect partner for Virgil van Dijk and might have overtaken Joe Gomez – when the Dutch and English central defenders eventually return to action.

Phillips, 24, opened his account for Liverpool as the Reds beat Burnley 3-0 – heading a Sadio Mane cross into the back of the net to score Liverpool’s second. Roberto Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also got their names on the score sheet.

Not only did Phillips get his name on the score sheet, but the ex-Bolton defender also cleared one off the line to keep a clean sheet intact – telling media after the match that he would rather a clean sheet, over finding the back of the net himself.

Ex-Liverpool goalkeeper James was asked if Phillips could be the perfect partner for van Dijk, and the retired goalkeeper believes he has done enough to show he can even overtake Gomez in the pecking order – and become a starting defender.

(Photo by CLIVE MASON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Celtic strike Premier Sports deal - is this the "additional value" we've been waiting for?

“Yes, straight away,” James said, when asked if Phillips replaces Gomez as van Dijk’s partner. “He’s not the most pretty on the eye, but he is a very strong defender. His first appearance for Liverpool, he dominated Benteke with a header.

“He’s got everything you want in a defender. If you have someone like van Dijk, you have the experience and the speed to back him up. Nat Phillips and van Dijk would make a wonderful partnership.”

TBR’s view – Phillips has been in stunning form for Liverpool

During his 19 league and cup appearances this season, Phillips has helped Jurgen Klopp’s side keep eight clean sheets – an excellent tally for a defender that was out on loan in the Germany second division last season, and with little hope of playing.

Many expected he would leave Anfield this summer, but now, he looks as though he will remain at Liverpool and be a player that gets game time next season. But to start alongside £180k-a-week (Spotrac) van Dijk? That is surely a step too far.

(Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know

You may also like…