Danny Murphy has claimed that Nat Phillips is ‘way off’ the quality required at Liverpool while discussing how the Reds will cope during the absence of Virgil van Dijk.
Our No. 4 was replaced at half time after sustaining a hamstring injury during the 3-1 defeat to Brentford and there are fears that the Dutchman could be sidelined until February.
Ibou Konate and Joel Matip finished the game as Jurgen Klopp’s two central defenders while Joe Gomez and Phillips were unused substitutes in a game where Jordan Henderson was sorely missed according to the ex-Red.
“I think he’s [Nat Phillips] way off to be honest,” Murphy told talkSPORT (via Rousing The Kop).
“The bigger problem would be more the midfield. I still feel that when you haven’t got Henderson in there, there’s a miss, physically and the leadership as well.
“I didn’t see anybody the other night [against Brentford], maybe Robbo [Andy Robertson] when he came on, he does it a little bit. But you know the second corner, the third corner, the ball kept ending up in the back of the net, I didn’t see anybody digging anybody out.
“Jordan, if you go and watch Liverpool or England play, all you can hear is Jordan Henderson organising, shouting, kicking people up the backside. [Liverpool] Didn’t seem to have it in the first-half, it was a really worrying display [vs Brentford].”
In regards to our No. 47, we certainly believe Murphy’s comments are somewhat harsh – it’s clear that he’s nowhere near the quality of van Dijk but whenever he’s been called upon he’s put in solid performances.
The club had reportedly set their price tag for the Bolton-born defender last month but with the fresh injury to the Netherlands captain, it’s now unlikely that he’ll be allowed to leave.
The Liverpool captain, meanwhile, missed the game with concussion but should be back available for Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Wolves at Anfield.
Reds fans have been crying out for the club to sign a new midfielder since the summer and our dismal display against Thomas Frank’s side has only strengthened those calls.
The Anfield outfit has been linked with moves for a number of midfielders including Sofyan Amrabat, Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez while Jude Bellingham remains the club’s main transfer target with any deal for the England international likely to be struck in the summer.
There was a lack of fight and a lack of quality during the clash in west London and we need a much-improved performance against Julian Lopetegui’s side at the weekend.