Has the door just opened for Liverpool youngster Nathaniel Phillips?
Liverpool starlet Nathaniel Phillips may be set for a chance in the first-team.
The defender is one of the club’s best young prospects, and could be called upon in the wake of an injury crisis for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Joel Matip (fractured collarbone) and Joe Gomez (fractured lower leg) will both be out of the picture until February.
At the moment, Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk are the only available central defenders, meaning Klopp has a decision to make.
He could dip into the transfer market and hope to land maybe a short-term fix.
He could turn to Fabinho or Wijnaldum who both have the versatility to play there if absolutely necessary.
Or he could hand young Phillips a chance.
Phillips impressed in pre- season
The Bolton-born defender is known about by Klopp.
He impressed during the Reds pre-season tour of the US, and there was actually talk of him making his Premier League debut on the opening day of the season against West Ham United when Matip, Gomez and Ragnar Klavan were all injured.
At the time, Klopp said of the 21-year-old, as quoted by Goal: “Nat has played an outstanding pre-season.”
During the 4-1 over Manchester United in front of 101,000 people, Phillips made a goal-saving challenge to deny Alexis Sanchez.
Certainly Lovren and van Dijk will play together as the only two recognised centre-halves, but Klopp should certainly consider putting Phillips on the bench.
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