Discover more from Empire of the Kop - Insider
Interest in Nathaniel Phillips raises transfer question Liverpool CAN'T ignore 👀
The 'Bolton Baresi' impressed last term when called upon
Liverpool are in no rush to usher Nathaniel Phillips out of the door this summer - nor should they be.
Under extremely difficult circumstances last season, the Englishman was a solid presence in the centre of defence, if not quite Virgil van Dijk-esque (but who is!).
With Ozan Kabak being deemed surplus to requirements and duly sent packing back to parent club Schalke, however, it would seem that Jurgen Klopp is currently at peace with his current centre-back options.
Virgil van Dijk
The Cameroonian is somewhat injury prone but we could overlook that fact by virtue of the depth beyond him, should our starting central defensive duo ever need a rest or be sidelined (hopefully only briefly) in the next campaign.
That being said, if you remove one of those names you risk a situation in which Klopp could be left scratching his head over pairing summer signing Konate with one of Davies or an Academy prospect.
With speculation continuing to surround Phillips’ future, as Paul Gorst has touched upon, this is a very real possibility.
“Liverpool will allow him to leave if he wants to. Brighton and Burnley both interested, I believe,” the journalist wrote in a Q&A piece for the Liverpool Echo. “The club will be looking for £15m. If not, Klopp will be delighted to have him on board for the coming season.”
With a target of £60m in player sales having been reportedly set by the club, a quarter of that amount courtesy of the potential exit of the Bolton-born defender is certainly tempting.
Of course, you’re then gambling once more on Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez lasting an entire campaign - right after a season defined by a cataclysm of injuries.
With the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Harry Wilson still remaining at Liverpool, there is no shortage of deadwood available to toss onto the transfer window pyre in the name of further summer incomings.
That all being said, it may be a decision that’s entirely out of Klopp and the club’s control, with us being unable to guarantee Phillips regular starting minutes.
Should a Brighton or a Burnley come to the negotiating table with £15m in hand - an increasing likelihood for the former should Ben White switch to Arsenal - you couldn’t begrudge the 24-year-old being interested in the prospect of regular playing time.
Without him in the squad, however, it does then raise a fresh transfer question for Liverpool that we would be ill-advised to ignore: do we have enough quality centre-backs to last an entire campaign?
If you’re of fan of this kind of content, all completely ad-free, then feel free to hit the subscribe button below and become an EOTK Insider. Dig into exclusive tidbits reserved only for our subscribers!