Confirmed! Nat Phillips set to stay at Liverpool beyond 2021

Nathaniel Phillips, Liverpool (Photo by David Balogh/Getty Images)
Nathaniel Phillips, Liverpool (Photo by David Balogh/Getty Images) /

Liverpool defender Nat Phillips is set to stay at the club beyond 2021, his management agency has confirmed.

The former Bolton trainee has won hearts and minds with his brutal brand of ballistic defending since he was brought into the side for wins over Sheffield United and RB Leipzig.

Phillips is as no-nonsense as they come. Average with the ball at his feet, it’s in the dual that the 23-year-old comes alive. Like Bruce Banner turning into the Hulk, Phillips transforms into a monster that few would want to tangle with.

Nat Phillips could be here to stay

This has come at the right time and the wrong time for the Englishman. Phillips was given his big break due to the tragic and season-derailing injuries suffered by Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk, but the trio will return for 2021/2022.

January recruitment added Ozan Kabak (on loan, but with an option to buy) and Ben Davies. That means Jurgen Klopp could have up to six centre-backs to pick from when he assesses his option for next season; the odds don’t look good for Phillips.

There has also been uncertainty surrounding the expiry date of his current Liverpool contract. Transfermarkt, who are normally on the button with this sort of thing, have it down as expiring in June 2021.

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But in an Instagram post, Phillips’ management agency said that this isn’t true. When asked if the defender was going to be available on a free this summer, Murdock Sports Group confirmed that this wasn’t the case.

"User DeanRegan20 asked: “Can you guys confirm his contract situation. Some think it expires this year, then some websites say 2024.”To which MSG replied: “It’s not this year.”"

This is good news for Liverpool. The Reds nearly sold him to Swansea at the start of this campaign but should be able to demand a higher sum following his exposure to Premier League and Champions Leauge football.

With at least one year left on Phillips’ contract, sporting director Michael Edwards could ask for a fee – or a higher fee- if anyone makes an offer in July.

Nine Premier League games and one in the Champions League have shown the good sides of Phillips game, and the areas in which he’s slightly more limited.

You could see him fitting in well at a side like Burnley, who like to buy young(ish) local players who are slightly undervalued and turn them into Premier League regulars pushing for the fringes of the England squad.

There’s no guarantee that Phillips would be one of these, but the Clarets record with Danny Ings, Nick Pope, Michael Keane, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Kieran Trippier and Dwight McNeil suggests that it would be a good landing point for the centre-back.