Kenny Dalglish gives verdict on Liverpool emergency pair Williams and Phillips

Kenny Dalglish has given his verdict on Liverpool's emergency defenders Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams as the Premier League champions face up to an injury crisis.

Both Phillips and Williams have been pressed into action in recent weeks after the Reds colossus Virgil van Dijk was sidelined for what could be the rest of the season.

And the two are on standby for more game time with Joe Gomez also facing a long spell out after sustaining a knee injury in training with England.

The injury blows to Van Dijk and Gomez leave injury-prone Joel Matip as the only senior centre-half, while stand-in defender Fabinho is recovering from a hamstring injury.

It remains to be seen whether Fabinho will be fit for Liverpool's Anfield clash with Premier League leaders Leicester on Sunday.

If not, Reds legend Dalglish would have no qualms about playing Phillips or Williams following their performances against West Ham and Atalanta respectively.

"It’s difficult for anybody to step in, but at 19 years of age Williams didn’t do too badly against Atalanta," Dalglish told the Liverpool Echo.

"He was there and stood up – the first header he cleared everybody out and made sure it was his – and Nat Phillips did well in the game at Anfield as well."

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Dalglish feels Phillips will have benefited from the experience of spending last season on loan at Stuttgart.

"Whether they’re ready long-term it remains to be seen, but Nat was over in Germany on loan last season and did really well so maybe he is a little bit more experienced," he said.

"As I say, though, you’ve got a couple of choices there – they’ll want to play.

"It might not be perfect timing for them because the next game is difficult against Leicester but Jurgen gets most of his decisions right and I have no doubt he’ll get this one right too."

Liverpool's defensive injuries could force Klopp into the transfer market in January.

The manager has been linked with moves for the likes of RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, Brighton's Ben White, Ruben Semedo of Olympiakos and Schalke's Ozan Kabak.

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