An update on Liverpool’s plans for their tenth Anfield exit before the transfer window closes has been provided by a reliable source.
What’s the latest?
Ryan Taylor of The Express reports that Liverpool has lowered their asking price for Nat Phillips as they plot the defender’s exit from Anfield.
In the reporter’s Transfer Tuesday segment for the publication, Taylor claims that the club are now ready to sell the player and their intentions were made clear after lowering their asking price for the defender this summer.
According to reports, Bournemouth are interested in signing him to a permanent contract after his loan spell at the club. Liverpool has reduced their asking price from £15 million to £10 million to entice more interests and attract a club to Phillips.
He’s “not good enough”
Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, and Joel Matip sustained long-term injuries during the 2020–21 season, and there is no doubt that Liverpool fans valued Phillips’ contribution to the squad at that time.
The defender, who the fans dubbed “The Bolton Baresi,” even earned a four-year contract to secure his future at Anfield as a reward for his performances throughout the Reds’ troubling season.
A move away now makes perfect sense for the 25-year-old as there hasn’t been a chance for the center-back to continue to play in the team now that the defensive line is looking strong and fitness levels has returned to normal.
In an interview with Football Insider, former Aston Villa star Gabby Agbonlahor scathingly claimed that the player is “not good enough” to play for Liverpool.
“Nat Phillips is not a Premier League centre-half.
“I’ve watched a bit of him now at Liverpool and he’s not good enough.
“For me, he’s a Championship player at best, he’s not good enough for the Premier League, especially at the top end.”
Agbonlahor’s assessment of the player may be considered as unfair by those in recruitment teams across the top-flight, especially when you look at his impact on Bournemouth over his loan period. Jurgen Klopp may not be able to offer Phillips a future or first-team football with the Merseysiders, but he is attracting interest from newly-promoted Premier League clubs.
Phillips made 1.5 interceptions per game in over 17 Championship starts for the Cherries and created one big chance. In addition, he averaged 4.1 clearances per game, won 65% of the duels he engaged in, and had a pass completion rate of 90% in his own half.
In fact, since the central defender joined the team, Bournemouth only lost twice, proving that he made a significant contribution to the club’s promotion to the top division and that he had the defensive skills to make a great player for whichever team that secures his signature this summer.
That was in the Championship, though, so it might be difficult to make the step up to Premier League life. He is definitely not up to par when it comes to competing with players like Matip and van Dijk, but he is clearly good enough for a second-tier club or a squad near the bottom of the top-flight.
The player is no longer in Klopp’s plans, therefore it is obvious that selling him might be in Phillips’ best interests in the long run as he seeks first-team action elsewhere.