Many thought that Virgil van Dijk’s ACL injury might derail Liverpool’s season.
But that’s not been the case. They’ve won each of the four games than Van Dijk has missed and got major contributions from his replacements.
Nat Phillips starred for the Reds in their 2-1 win against West Ham on Saturday, winning the Man of the Match award for his efforts.
“Nat Phillips, wow! I couldn’t be more happy,” Jurgen Klopp said afterwards.
“He was confident, did his stuff, and played a really good game.”
🥇 Man of the Match, Nat Phillips— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) October 31, 2020
PL debut & second senior app for @LFC
9 clearances (6 headed), most in match
6 times possession gained
1 chance created
96 touches pic.twitter.com/g9NnH2GpcO
On Tuesday it was Rhys Williams’ turn to partner Joe Gomez as Liverpool took on Atalanta in the Champions League.
And he also didn’t disappoint.
The 19-year-old did a fine job of marshalling Luis Muriel and Duvan Zapata. His stats speak for themselves.
Rhys Williams v Atalanta— Watch LFC (@Watch_LFC) November 3, 2020
– 92% Pass accuracy.
– 100% Tackle success.
– 2 tackles.
– 3 Clearances.
– Clean sheet.
19 years old. pic.twitter.com/gHbnUCGU5x
Klopp raved about Williams after the match, saying: “Exceptional. I cannot imagine being 19 years old and playing my second adult professional football game in the Champions League against Muriel and Zapata, or most of the time against Zapata.
“It’s incredible. I would have been nervous like hell. The boys are not, that helps massively.”
Klopp added, per Liverpool’s website: “I couldn’t be more happy for Rhys because you should see him in the dressing room – you’d probably need something special to hit the smile out of his face, it’s probably not possible.”
Watch Williams’ individual highlights
Williams’ individual highlights from the encounter have now emerged and they show why Klopp was so happy with him.
The centre-back didn’t put a foot wrong and displayed a maturity beyond his years.