Liverpool need a permanent partnership at centre-back for the rest of the season, so could Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak be the answer?
During Liverpool’s 2-0 derby defeat to Everton at Anfield on Saturday, captain Jordan Henderson left the pitch with a groin injury in the 30th minute. That forced Jurgen Klopp into making an early change with Nat Phillips coming on in his place.
However, the unexpected introduction for Phillips did not appear to faze the 23-year old. He was arguably one of Liverpool’s better performers on the night in yet another defeat at Anfield for the Reds.
This leaves the club with just Nat Phillips, Ozan Kabak, Ben Davies and Rhys Williams as their only natural centre-backs. However, Davies is yet to play a single minute for the club and Williams has fallen out of favour since the FA Cup tie at Old Trafford.
On a more positive note, Fabinho is now back in training and may not be far away from a return to the first team. However, it may be more important to get him back into the midfield at this moment, leaving Klopp with a decision to make on a new partnership.
Philips and Kabak should be the club’s newest pairing.
We are yet to see Kabak at his best in a Liverpool shirt. A solid performance against RB Leipzig has been overshadowed by worrying performances against Leicester City and Everton.
Whereas, Phillips has been solid when given the chance, with his best performance coming away at West Ham.
Bringing the two in together would see the team line up with two natural centre-backs at last. This is maybe what Kabak needs as so far he has only played alongside Jordan Henderson.
This combination would give Liverpool someone dominant in the air in Phillips and someone happy with the ball at their feet in Kabak. That could then be Liverpool’s most stable partnership since Matip and Fabinho.