Supporters were left stunned and in disbelief after manager Jurgen Klopp named Nathaniel Phillips in the starting lineup for Liverpool’s Premier League game against Crystal Palace on Monday, August 15.
Due to the recent injuries to Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip, the Reds are currently a little light in defense. However, Phillips’ inclusion has still caused a debate as Joe Gomez was named on the bench.
Joe Gomez signed a new five-year contract earlier this summer, which is important to note. But he still did not crack the starting lineup for the Reds’ first home game of the season.
Phillips, meanwhile, was being linked with a move out of Anfield all summer. It was reported that Fulham and Bournemouth were interested in the center-back but the transfer never happened, and the defender is now starting for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
In other team news, new club record signing, Darwin Nunez, made his first start for his new club against Crystal Palace. The Uruguayan forward made a brilliant Premier League debut in a 2-2 draw against Fulham last weekend, where scored and provided an assist.
Although the same can’t be said about the game against Crystal Palace after he got sent off for headbutting an opponent.
Liverpool fans have criticized Klopp for starting Nat Phillips. Even so early in the season, some supporters are preparing for the worst. Here are some tweets on that:
It is important to note that Nat’ Phillips played a significant role for the Reds in the 2020–21 season, a time when the team were suffering a defensive crisis. He played 20 games across all competitions, including three in the UEFA Champions League.
Phillips spent the second half of last season on loan at Championship side, Bournemouth. Where he made 17 appearances in the second-tier division as the Cherries secured promotion back to the Premier League.