Steve Nicol has dismissed claims that Kalvin Phillips could be a Wijnaldum replacement for Liverpool, suggesting that he is stylistically more similar to Fabinho.
The ex-fullback explained that the role the England star performs under Marcelo Bielsa is far more reserved in terms of forward-minded contributions.
“No. I think [Kalvin] Phillips, if you were going to replace anybody, would replace Fabinho,” the former Red told ESPN.
“Phillips did well today, he broke forward, he did play a great pass to Sterling.
“That’s not his game, that’s not how he plays for Leeds, that’s not what he’s used to doing, and so that wouldn’t be his job if he was to replace anybody in the Liverpool midfield.”
With there being a two-year age difference between the Brazilian and the Leeds United man, it’s unlikely that Jurgen Klopp will be considering new signings in that department as of yet.
Though perhaps not his usual instructions at Elland Road, the 25-year-old’s performance during England’s 1-0 victory over Croatia indicates a certain versatility that our recruitment team could look to take advantage of.
Phillips’ robustness on the ball, not to mention his ability to break up the play, will undeniably appeal to Klopp as he looks to find a suitable replacement for PSG-bound Wijnaldum.
That being said, with a contract not set to expire until 2024, Liverpool would be far from the driving seat when it comes to negotiating a potential fee for the Leeds-born midfielder’s services.