Jurgen Klopp believes Nat Phillips is training ‘exceptionally’ well right now. Despite that, the cente-back is unlikely to get good news on Saturday.
Liverpool face Watford tomorrow as they return to action after the international break. They do so without several first-team players, however.
Both Alisson and Fabinho miss out as a result of Brazil playing in the early hours of this morning. Thiago, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott are all missing from midfield, too, with injuries.
That’s a considerable chunk of the team. Alisson, Fabinho and Thiago would all likely start this is available. Jones and Elliott are best-placed to replace the Spaniard on top of that – but neither can.
No, it’s not quite the centre-back crisis of last season but it’s a real headache for Jurgen Klopp. In fact, centre-back is just about the only area he doesn’t have problems.
All five of his defenders are raring to go, though that means bad news for a hero from last season – Nat Phillips. Klopp admits the 24-year-old won’t make the squad for this one despite training well.
“Nat Phillips doesn’t make the squad because of the numbers but he trains exceptionally,” Klopp told his press conference on Friday.
Nat Phillips is training well
Phillips always knew that getting games would be tough this season. Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate are all ahead of him in the pecking order, after all.
An injury crisis is just about the only way he gets into the team – much like last season. We’re not seeing that, thankfully, as the defenders remain fit.
It’s good to hear that Phillips is still impressing, though. He earned a lot of love last season with his efforts and thoroughly deserves a spot at a good Premier League side.
Liverpool’s strength in the position is just phenomenally strong right now, however. It’s hard to see how he ever gets in the team as a result but you never know – last year’s luck could return.
And if it does, we know we can continue to trust Phillips in that worst-case scenario.