Nat Phillips is not a good enough defender to play for Liverpool, according to former Reds midfielder Danny Murphy.

Phillips, 25, is the fifth-choice centre-back at Liverpool and had been strongly linked with a move away from the club in January, with Bournemouth touted as one potential destination for the defender.

Phillips spent the second half of last season on loan at the Vitality Stadium, helping the club achieve promotion to the Premier League.

Fulham have also been linked with Phillips but it appears the central defender will be denied a move away from Anfield this month, following an injury to Virgil van Dijk.

The Netherlands international was forced off in Monday’s 3-1 defeat to Brentford with a hamstring problem.

Liverpool have several other options at centre-back, with Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate available in addition to Phillips.

But the Bolton-born defender is likely to remain at Anfield to provide cover in case Liverpool suffer any further injuries in defence.

Murphy: Phillips is ‘way off’

When asked if Phillips could provide adequate cover for Liverpool, Murphy told talkSPORT: “I think he’s way off to be honest.”

Murphy then went on to identify a more concerning issue for his former club.

“The bigger problem would be more the midfield. I still feel that when you haven’t got Henderson in there, there’s a miss, physically and the leadership as well,” he added.

“I didn’t see anybody the other night [against Brentford], maybe Robbo [Andy Robertson] when he came on, he does it a little bit.

But you know the second corner, the third corner, the ball kept ending up in the back of the net, I didn’t see anybody digging anybody out.

“Jordan, if you go and watch Liverpool or England play, all you can hear is Jordan Henderson organising, shouting, kicking people up the backside.

“They didn’t seem to have it in the first-half, it was a really worrying display [vs Brentford].”

Liverpool are now seven points adrift of the top four after their defeat to Brentford.

They next face Wolves in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

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