Nat Phillips was key to Liverpool finishing in the Champions League places last season, with the previously unheralded centre half seizing the opportunity presented by Liverpool’s injury crisis and proving he had what it takes to play at a high level.
With the addition of Ibrahima Konate and a healthy stable of centre halves in 2021-22, though, he found minutes hard to come by, and so as the January transfer window wound down Phillips agreed a loan move to Bournemouth.
“It was an option that I was really excited about because of the club’s ambition,” Phillips said in his first interview for his new club. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about the club, so I’m very excited to be here and looking forward to getting started.
“I think we’ve all got that clear common goal of achieving promotion and we’ll all be doing everything we can to make sure we achieve that. All players are obviously wanting to play in the Premier League, and promotion is the way to do that.”
His new club are well positioned to do that. Currently a point off second and automatic promotion with a game in hand, Phillips will be given the chance to start regularly and perhaps add another noteworthy season to his resume.
After spending the first half of the season down the pecking order, that’s something he’s looking forward to, and if he can impress for Bournemouth like he did for the Reds last year there should be plenty of options for him in the summer.
“Probably the most important thing I felt throughout last season is I saw an improvement as I built up the games,” he added. “So that’s obviously something I’m looking to continue after a period where I’ve not played a great deal of football.
“I want to get back to playing games again and continue to develop and improve and bring as much as I can to the team and the club.”