Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Mark Lawrenson says Nat Phillips is a better player than Ben Davies

Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he thinks Nathaniel Phillips is a better option at centre-back for Jurgen Klopp than new Liverpool signing Ben Davies.

Davies, 25, was confirmed as a Reds player on deadline-day after sporting director Michael Edwards orchestrated a £2 million deal from Preston North End, per The Athletic.

Davies, who clocked up 145 appearances during an eight-year spell at Preston, will wear the No.28 shirt for Liverpool.

Edwards was able to orchestrate a deal for a relatively cheap price with Davies’ contract at Deepdale due to expire at the end of the season. He is one of two defensive additions for Liverpool with Ozan Kabak also acquired from Schalke on a loan-to-buy deal.

Anfield icon Lawrenson, though, delivered an overall assessment of the defensive purchase which was met with some trepidation. Lawrenson claimed that Phillips, who starred in Liverpool’s win over West Ham at the weekend, is better than Davies.

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“He’s a real steady Eddie. He’s left-footed and quick enough but he’s not got phenomenal pace or anything like that,” Lawrenson said. “I’ve watched him. The extra nous and quality you get in the Premier League will be a test for him.

“You wouldn’t want to just throw him in to face Manchester City next Sunday, put it that way. This is obviously a great move for him, I just can’t see him getting near the first team. Phillips is probably a better player.”

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

What RTK has to say – Is Lawrenson verdict on Davies unfair?

Indeed, Phillips has been impressive in the run of fixtures he’s been handed by Klopp. Notably, his performances against West Ham and Brighton were faultless. He could, then, partner either of Liverpool’s January additions in the coming weeks.

The acquisition of Davies was certainly welcomed given Liverpool’s desperate need for defensive reinforcements. Joel Matip has been ruled out for the season, after all.

Yes, it isn’t exactly the most eye-catching addition given the names that have previously been mooted to be of interest to Liverpool in recent weeks. Still, the club’s need for cover meant inactivity was no longer an option.

Even Klopp himself delivered an honest assessment following the club’s decision to invest in a player with next-to-no top-flight experience.

“I think it’s probably clear that in a normal transfer window, without any issues, we would not look at Preston if there’s a player for us or something like that. It’s not really likely,” he said, per the club’s official website.

So, Liverpool finally have an array of options to pick from in central defence. It’s unlikely, though, that Klopp will utilise either player against Brighton tomorrow evening.

In the meantime, the Liverpool boss could stick with the successful combination of Phillips and Jordan Henderson that worked wonders against West Ham and Tottenham.

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