As per Football Insider, former England number one Paul Robinson believes that Nathaniel Phillips is more likely to be allowed to leave Liverpool than Joe Gomez, amid strong interest from West Ham.
The Lowdown: West Ham’s centre-back crisis
West Ham are now running short in the defensive department due to injuries sustained by centre-backs Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma.
Ogbonna is expected to be out for the rest of the season after suffering from a cruciate ligament rupture on the 7th of November, whilst Zouma sustained a hamstring tendon injury during the Hammers’ 3-2 victory against Chelsea.
The 27-year-old Frenchman is especially important to West Ham’s defensive success, as he leads the team’s statistics with 5.2 clearances and 0.5 offsides won per game. The Italian defender also deploys the high-line to perfection, sitting second with 0.4 offsides won per game.
As a result of this huge blow to David Moyes’ plans, Liverpool player Phillips has been shortlisted as a January transfer target, and it is believed that a fee around £12m would be enough to secure his services.
The Latest: Robinson reacts to Phillips links
As reported by Football Insider, Robinson, a regular pundit on Sky Sports, believes that there is more chance of Phillips leaving Liverpool in the January window than Gomez. The former Spurs keeper said: “Phillips has got more chance of leaving than Gomez has, that’s for sure.
“I still think a deal will be difficult to do though given the injury crisis Liverpool had last season.
“Phillips was brilliant at the end of last season but whether he is of the same level as Zouma and Ogbonna, I would question that.
“It’s an area that Moyes probably need to address though.”
The Verdict: Phillips a possibility
The Sunday Mirror have reported (as shared by Football Insider) that the Reds will block any attempt at luring Gomez away from Anfield.
However, it is understood that Jürgen Klopp will listen to offers for the 6 foot 3 Phillips, who is deemed to be lower in the pecking order at Liverpool. This could open up the possibility of the 24-year-old making the switch in January.
The Englishman may not be as technically gifted as Zouma and Ogbonna, exemplified by not having made a key pass when playing in the League cup this season, but Klopp has hailed his heading ability, saying that “in the air, he’s a monster!”
Therefore, Phillips may just be the perfect addition to help reduce West Ham’s defensive crisis and simply add a bit more depth and solidity where Moyes needs it most.
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