Nat Phillips is a defender who is simply constantly involved.
We think that’s why his partnership with Ozan Kabak works – Phillips does the dirty stuff and puts his body on the line while the more technically capable Turk clears up after him.
The stats in the image below show what we’re talking about…
Phillips has made more blocks, clearances and won more aerial duels than any other Liverpool player per/90 minutes this season… And he’s not far off on headed clearances or forward passes, either!
☄️| Nat Phillips has been absolutely phenomenal since coming into the side. pic.twitter.com/vILp2TqbKb
— The Kopite (@TheKopiteOFF) April 5, 2021
Phillips and Kabak starting alongside each other enables Fabinho to anchor the midfield and we look a far, far better side with his central influence.
Fab did a good job in defence, but we badly missed his leadership, positioning and physicality as the no.6.
Thiago has improved tenfold since Fabinho moved to play alongside him, and it’ll be those two with Gini Wijnaldum who make up a midfield three this evening against Real Madrid.