Jurgen Klopp backs Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams to have ‘good careers’ at Liverpool or elsewhere after the pair stepped up in the hour of the Reds’ need to replace injured star defenders Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip
- Both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez suffered serious knee injuries in the autumn
- Joel Matip then stumbled across Tottenham in January and hasn’t played since
- However, Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams have been performed admirably
- Jurgen Klopp thinks the pair will have a ‘good career’ at Liverpool or elsewhere
- Williams was with National League North-side Kidderminster Harriers last season
- Phillips, meanwhile, was loaned out to 2. Bundesliga side Stuttgart in 2019/20
Jurgen Klopp says Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams have proven they can survive at the highest level and have a ‘good career’ in the long run at Liverpool or elsewhere.
Seasonal injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip meant the inexperienced Phillips, 24, and Williams, 20, were thrown into the deep this season, along with January 21-year lease Ozan Kabak.
Liverpool will move to a point of a Champions League spot when they take their third straight win at West Brom on Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp has supported Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips to have a bright future
Youth product Williams was in the National League North with Kidderminster Harriers last season
Nathaniel Phillips spent time on loan for Stuttgart last season before returning to Liverpool
Phillips, son of former Bolton defender Jimmy, has played 17 times, fellow academy graduate Williams 16, while Turkey international has made Kabak 13.
“All the guys who came in did incredibly well,” said the Liverpool boss. Ozan came in and played a great role for us, although unfortunately he is now injured.
‘Nat had played well for weeks and Rhys was mainly used in the Champions League because Nat was not on the [initial] Champions League list. But they played together against United and played very well.
Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk will both miss the European Championship after suffering serious knee injuries
Joel Matip has not played since Tottenham got away in January after an ankle problem
‘I like what they did, how they kept their concentration against a United front four, it’s not easy. They were very well supported by our two full backs, with a lot of talking [going on].
‘Rhys is a natural talker on the field, which helps us and I like how we organized ourselves on the field. So this year they created two great careers, which is nice.
Both Nat and Rhys will have good careers and if you are in an academy that is not written in stone. They have shown how good they are and everything is fine. ‘