Premier League • England

Klopp given January transfer advice for ‘not good enough’ Liverpool star, as Prem side circle

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool November 2021

Liverpool centre-back Nat Phillips is “not good enough” to be playing Premier League football amid doubt over his future, according to one pundit.

The 24-year-old has enjoyed a topsy-turvy career at Anfield, capped by a stunning recent rise. He has been way down the pecking order for most of his Reds spell, but he ended up starring last season amid a defensive injury crisis.

Indeed, he played Premier League and Champions League football as he helped steady the Liverpool ship.

However, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have all now returned to fitness. As such, Phillips has fallen back down manager Jurgen Klopp’s hierarchy.

In fact, Tuesday’s dead-rubber Champions League match away at AC Milan was only his third appearance of the campaign.

Speculation is therefore growing over Phillips’ future. He reportedly has interest from top-four chasing West Ham. According to Gabby Agbonlahor, though, the centre-back is only good enough for the Championship.

“Nat Phillips is not a Premier League centre-half,” the pundit told Football Insider.

“I’ve watched a bit of him now at Liverpool and he’s not good enough.

West Ham are interested in Liverpool's Nat Phillips

West Ham are interested in Liverpool's Nat Phillips

West Ham are preparing a £15million bid for Nat Phillips.

“For me, he’s a Championship player at best, he’s not good enough for the Premier League, especially at the top end.”

West Ham are looking for a new defender following the loss of Angelo Ogbonna to injury. The centre-back’s anterior cruciate ligament issue will likely keep him out for the rest of the season.

Klopp admitted over Phillips earlier this month that Liverpool “cannot keep him forever, that’s clear”.

Furthermore, the player himself has now insisted that he wants to be playing as much as possible. He added, though, that the competition for places makes his job harder.

Nat Phillips assesses Liverpool role

Nathaniel Phillips Liverpool

Speaking after the game in Milan, Phillips said: “I felt like I stood myself in good stead (against Milan). It was tough towards the end.

“It was tough against [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, someone who has been at the top throughout most of his career, so it was a really tough battle and I enjoyed every minute of it.

“I did get a bit fatigued – that’s going to happen when you play your first 90 minutes in a long time – but I felt overall I can be proud of my performance.

“And it just shows that the work that I have been putting in during training pays off.”

Liverpool return to action on Saturday when Steven Gerrard makes a return to Anfield with his Aston Villa side.