Liverpool have already let go of nine players this summer and now a reliable source has given an update on the club’s plans for their 10th Anfield exit before the transfer window closes.
What’s the latest?
According to The Express journalist Ryan Taylor, Liverpool have reduced the asking price for Nathaniel 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 defender and their intention is clear after reducing their asking price for the player this summer.
It is reported that Bournemouth are interested in securing a permanent deal for the player following his loan at the club, Liverpool have lowered their asking price from £15m to £10m to entice more interest and attract a club to Phillips.
He’s “not good enough”
There is no doubt that Liverpool supporters appreciated Phillips’ impact in the team during the season of 2020/21 when the side suffered a huge injury crisis that saw Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip suffer long-term injuries.
The defender dubbed ‘The Bolton Baresi’ by fans even earned a brand new four-year deal to secure his future at Anfield as a reward for his contributions in the troubling season for the Reds.
However, now that the defensive line is looking solid and fitness has returned to normal, there hasn’t been an opportunity for the centre-back to continue to feature in the team, so a move away now makes perfect sense for the 25-year-old.
Former Aston Villa star Gabby Agbonlahor made a scathing claim that the player is “not good enough” to play for Liverpool in an interview with Football Insider, saying:
“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.”
Whilst Jurgen Klopp may not be able to offer Phillips a future or first-team football with the Merseysiders, he is attracting interest from newly-promoted Premier League clubs, so Agbonlahor’s assessment of the player may well be considered unfair by those in recruitment teams across the top-flight, especially when you look at his impact on Bournemouth over his loan spell.
Over 17 Championship starts for the Cherries, Phillips created one big chance and made 1.5 interceptions per game. He also produced 4.1 clearances per game and won the majority of his duels (65%) and totalled up a pass completion rate of 90% in his own half.
In fact, Bournemouth only lost twice with the central defender in the team upon his arrival, proving that the player clearly contributed to the side’s promotion into the top flight and has the defensive attributes to be a great player for the team that secure his signature this summer.
However, that was indeed in the Championship and making the step up to Premier League life might be tricky. Quite clearly good enough for a second-tier outfit or a team towards the bottom of the top-flight, he isn’t up to scratch when it comes to matching the likes of Matip and van Dijk.
With that being said, it is clear that with the player no longer in Klopp’s plans, selling him could, in the long term, be the best decision for Phillips’ interests as he seeks first-team football elsewhere.