West Ham eye Liverpool man as Ogbonna replacement

Date published: Monday 29th November 2021 5:11 - Jason Soutar

Reported West Ham target Nat Phillips like a warm up

West Ham are interested in signing Liverpool centre-back Nathaniel Phillips, according to reports.

Hammers defender Angelo Ogbonna suffered a long-term knee injury against the Reds earlier this month which has created a gap in their defence.

Phillips, on the other hand, has struggled for game time under Jurgen Klopp this term after becoming a surprise hero last season due to the club’s injury saga.

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Problems for Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip saw the 24-year-old thrust into the first team under Klopp as he helped Liverpool finish third in 2020/21.

He put in some solid displays during his 20 appearances and even scored his first Premier League goal against Burnley on the penultimate day of the season.

This season, however, Phillips is yet to make a Premier League appearance, whilst playing one minute of Champions League action and 45 minutes in the Carabao Cup.

And according to Football Insider, the centre-back is on West Ham’s January shortlist and ‘they are laying the groundwork for a potential deal’.

The report adds that Liverpool are happy to listen to offers for Phillips with the Merseyside club hoping for around £12million.

In the summer, The Athletic also reported that West Ham had made contact with Liverpool over the signing of the ex-Stuttgart loanee.

Meanwhile, former Liverpool man Danny Murphy has heaped praise on Diogo Jota, as the forward has proved him wrong since his move to the English giants.

“He just continually scores goals. I know they’ve lost Firmino for a while with injury. But it’s not being talked about because of Jota’s form,” Murphy told talkSPORT.

“I was a bit shocked when they signed him. He was decent at Wolves but I never saw him as a Liverpool player.

“He’s been sensational. He’s scored eight in 16 this season which you can’t argue with and 21 in 46 since he’s been at Liverpool. A brilliant signing.

“I like his energy, I like his attitude. You don’t see him moaning or diving around. He just gets on with the job. He can play on the left, right or middle too.”

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