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Nathaniel Phillips did just his third start of the Premier League of his Liverpool career against Newcastle United on Wednesday night and while helping the Reds to score a clean sheet, the former Bolton Wanderers player was caught on several occasions.
The 23-year-old was dominant in the air against the Toon and solid on defense, but there were several times his lack of rhythm was exposed, with Callum Wilson and Joelinton both trailing the defender, which could be cause for concern. for Jurgen Klopp.
The Reds can generally deploy a high line on their defense, pacing Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, meaning they rarely caught them with balls overhead, but with both set to miss much of the season, Klopp was he’s been forced to promote the likes of Phillips and Rhys Williams, 19, into his first team.
Neither Phillips nor Fabinho have been blessed with the pace and if Newcastle had been more attacking in the game Wednesday night, you feel they could have exposed this weakness in the Reds’ defense much more effectively.
Do Liverpool need another center back in January?
With Joel Matip ready to fail three weeks In action with his latest injury, Klopp only has Phillips and Williams available as natural centers on his team.
Liverpool’s next two games will see them take on Southampton away from home, before taking on second-placed Manchester United at Anfield, and both teams have a lot of pace in attack, which could cause serious problems for the Reds’ defense. .
Therefore, even though Phillips labelled A Klopp “monster” after his impressive Premier League debut against West Ham earlier in the season, the German manager must convince sporting director Michael Edwards to bring in another more experienced center-back in the January transfer window.
Has been He suggested that despite Liverpool’s injury concerns, the Reds will not be looking to bring in a center back next month. However, if they don’t, it seems only a matter of time before Premier League teams begin to exploit this lack of rhythm in Liverpool’s defense, which could see Klopp’s team slip out of the top of the league. table.
And, in other news … Forget Jones: LFC “out of this world” star who lost possession 31 times was Klopp’s worst player against NUFC