While Nat Phillips might not be the centre half a side with Premier League and Champions League aspirations would seek to build a defence around, 2020-21 proved the 24-year-old Liverpool academy product can be counted on as a reliable depth option.
As such, Liverpool have signalled they would be more than happy heading into next season with Phillips in the squad to provide an option while Ibrahima Konaté settles in and the trio of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, and Joël Matip return from serious injury.
However, the player himself could be hesitant to take on that role—one that will see his minutes depend almost entirely on the form and fitness of four players ahead of him on the depth chart. Meanwhile, Burnley and Brighton have both shown interest.
At least that’s the story according to Goal’s Neil Jones, who says that while Liverpool are reluctant to sell, the player’s own wishes are less clear cut and for the right price the Reds would be willing to let him depart before the start of the 2021-22 season.
“At the stage I’m at, I need to be playing games for my development,” Phillips told Goal. “I think if you look from my first game last season to my last, there was development and I felt a lot more confident and comfortable. I want to keep that progression.”
Phillips did note, though, that the current plan involves joining the Reds for pre-season in an effort to gauge just what his chances might be heading into the new season—and with the player acknowledging a club like Liverpool “play a huge amount of games.”
With new signing Konaté, three returning injured stars, and January signing Ben Davies to go along with Phillips, the Reds do appear to have numbers at centre half heading into 2021-22—but they also still have a great deal of uncertainty.