Jurgen Klopp should drop Nathaniel Phillips and play Jordan Henderson at centre-back, believes Danny Murphy, after watching Liverpool draw with Newcastle on Wednesday night.
The Premier League champions stayed top of the table, but were disappointed to be held to a goalless draw by the Magpies at St James’ Park.
With Joel Matip joining Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez on the injured list, Phillips partnered Fabinho in central defence, and although the Reds kept a clean sheet, the inexperienced defender looked a bit shaky at times.
Murphy certainly wasn’t impressed with his performance and, despite being a central midfielder by trade and rarely playing at the back, would rather see Henderson alongside Fabinho in defence.
‘I think he [Phillips] struggled a bit at times. He got the booking in the second half when he was out of position a couple of times,’ Murphy told Stadium Astro. ‘
He looked a bit nervy tonight, I think in the forthcoming games we’ll probably see a change there. I’d be surprised if he keeps his place, to be honest.
‘I know he gives that aerial presence, but depending on who you play against, I don’t think you can only be in the team for that, you need a little bit more.
‘He has played Rhys Williams, he’s played Jordan Henderson there, we’ll have to wait and see.
‘I think he was a bit in awe of Wilson at times, a bit in fear of him, you could sense it. I felt uneasy when he was around Wilson. They still kept a clean sheet, to be fair to them.’
Murphy feels that Klopp has enough good options in midfield, now they have returned from injury, to warrant moving Henderson back.
‘I’d play Henderson there in a big game, alongside Fabinho at the moment,’ continued the former England international.
‘I know he likes to trust the young lads and give them a go, but with the other midfield options, with [Georginio] Wijnaldum, Thiago [Alcantara], [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain, Milner, I’d play Henderson there.
‘He’s quick, experienced, nobody’s going to run him, he can leap, that’s what I’d do, personally.’