Date: 9th August 2018 at 8:57am
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OPINION

With Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp facing centre-back problems after a multiple of injuries, the German should look towards fielding Nat Phillips as an option. 

Phillips has been a surprise package during Liverpool’s pre-season and the 21-year-old centre-back has taken huge strides in his career from being an unfamiliar figure to partnering Virgil van Dijk in the Reds’ friendly win over Torino at Anfield.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has shown impeccably what he can offer to the first-team defence despite his young age and Klopp should take another gamble by applying another youth player into his future plans.

Phillips, who signed on a free transfer from Bolton two years ago, has been highly impressive in pre-season with a great attitude to the game as well as his willingness to defend and compete in the air.

Liverpool have the club’s northern UK scout, Andy O’Brien to thank for bringing Phillips to Anfield, according to the Liverpool Echo.

The newspaper revealed on their website that the former Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers centre-back recommended Phillips to the Reds, who was in the process of taking a four-year scholarship in America.

Liverpool have made solid signings in terms of attack but it is at the back where the Reds manager’s first headache hits him.

Centre-backs Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan have both endured injury troubles while Dejan Lovren has only just returned from World Cup duty, leaving Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez as the only serious contenders for the centre-back role.

If the towering defender is to be trusted by Klopp to play in pre-season, then he should be part of his plans to gain Premier League experience this season.

Joe Gomez is expected to return for Sunday’s Premier League opener against West Ham to partner Virgil van Dijk but if he is unable to regain fitness then it could be Phillips who is handed his senior debut in the club’s opening league game.