Saturday, September 30, 2023

West Ham United Face Stiff Competition For This English Defender: Right Fit For Moyes?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, Sky Sports stated that West Ham United are facing stiff competition for Liverpool defender Nathaniel Phillips this summer. It is believed that the Hammers will have to rival the likes of Brighton and Hove Albion, Burnley and Newcastle United in pursuit of the Reds defensive ace in this off-season (via Sky Sports).

Phillips’ Decent Run Of Form At Anfield Last Season

Phillips experienced a solid season at the red half of Merseyside as he did well to step up in the midst of an injury crisis and gave a good account of himself at the heart of Jurgen Klopp’s defence. The Bolton-born talent was involved in 20 matches for the Reds in the previous campaign, finding the back of the net once and securing one assist in the process across multiple competitions.

More importantly, the 24-year-old proved his worth as a capable defender at the back after he averaged 1.4 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 4.6 clearances per 90 minutes in the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League last season. He even distributed the ball with conviction from inside his half, as evidenced by his pass success rate of 84% in both those competitions (stats via whoscored).

Phillips has taken great strides towards improving his overall game and could be tempted with the opportunity to join the Hammers in search of regular playing time in the coming seasons. At the moment, Klopp doesn’t have enough room in his squad for someone like Phillips as he has fallen behind Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip in the Anfield pecking order.

West Ham United face stiff competition for Phillips who is seen in the picture
Liverpool v Crystal Palace – Premier League – Anfield Liverpool s Nathaniel Phillips left and Crystal Palace s Jairo Riedewald battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Sunday May 23, 2021. EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xPhilxNoblex 59966656

Will Phillips Be The Right Fit For The Hammers?

Phillips is an old-fashioned, no-nonsense defender who loves to clear the danger when the opposition are on the offensive. He can also even make some strong tackles to hamper the opponent’s flow in the game. Plus, the English sensation can pull off a few timely interceptions to help his teammates out at the back. Thus, he could be an excellent addition to David Moyes’ match-day squad ahead of the new campaign.

Phillips will undoubtedly add more bite and steel to the Hammers backline and is already good enough to compete with Craig Dawson, Angelo Ogbonna and Issa Diop for a regular starting spot in West Ham’s first team next season.

Phillips could turn out to be a good fit for the East London outfit as he has what it takes to secure regular top-flight football at the London Stadium. Hence, Moyes would be wise to engineer a move to land him before the start of the new season.

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