‘Wow – I couldn’t be more happy’: Jurgen Klopp delighted with Liverpool’s latest defensive fix for injured Virgil van Dijk as Nat Phillips is awarded man of the match by Jamie Carragher in victory over West Ham
Jurgen Klopp was blown away by top-flight debutant Nat Philipps on Saturday, with the Englishman filling in for injured star Virgil van Dijk in victory over West Ham.
The German coach is also missing Fabinho and facing a defensive crisis at Anfield, choosing to pick 23-year-old Premier League first-timer Philipps.
The defender impressed at the back and was handed man of the match by Sky pundit Jamie Carragher, as the Reds came from behind after Pablo Fornals’ opener – with Mo Salah and Diogo Jota scoring.
Jurgen Klopp was delighted with the performance of centre-back Nat Philipps on Saturday
The defender filled-in at the back for injured pair Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho against West Ham
While Phillips got man of the match from Jamie Carragher, Diogo Jota bagged the winner
‘The way we defended, with Nat Phillips, wow I couldn’t be more happy,’ the German told Sky Sports.
‘Before the game I asked him if he was nervous and he said ‘no’. I said I would be.
‘But it’s good, it keeps you awake. He was confident and did the right things. Jamie (Carragher) was a defender himself maybe he can remember his first game for Liverpool.
‘It’s a big thing especially for guy like Nat who is exceptionally intelligent and three years ago was on his way to America to study at a college.
The match was Phillips’ debut in the Premier League but he will likely be called on again
‘Now he plays tonight for Liverpool, it’s a really nice story.’
Philipps joined the Reds four-years-ago after a successful trial, having previously features in Bolton’s academy setup.
The defender spent last season on-loan at Bundesliga 2 side Stuttgart, making 22 appearances for the German side.
His only other senior start for the Reds was in the FA Cup last season, when a Curtis Jones stunner ensured Liverpool humiliated a full-strength Everton side at Anfield.