Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool staff have been delighted by Nat Phillips‘ impressive displays in training recently.
That’s according to The Athletic, who report that Phillips almost left on deadline day to join Benfica. After the move was blocked though, Klopp has reportedly liked the 25-year-old’s reaction.
It’s claimed that Phillips’ ‘attitude and application’ have caught the eye of the Liverpool coaching staff, being labelled as ‘exemplary.’
The Reds’ coaches are reportedly confident that, despite his failed move, the centre-back will continue to train with distinction until he’s needed again.
Phillips stays on at Liverpool
It must have been a big disappointment for Phillips to see a move to Benfica blocked so late in the window. A transfer to Portugal would have been a massive opportunity for him.
In the end though, it’s clear that Liverpool still need him on the books. After several injury issues at centre-back, they don’t want to sell themselves short. We’ve been there before.
Thankfully, it sounds as though Phillips has been a consummate professional about the whole thing.
Now twenty-five, he must be desperate to kick-start his career away from Anfield. If he was getting more game-time, then perhaps wouldn’t be necessary. But at the moment, that game-time just isn’t going to arrive.
As a result, few would forgive him getting a little fidgety. Phillips is essentially being kept around on the off-chance Liverpool need him. That can’t be an easy role to fill for someone who’s played less than 70 senior games by his mid-twenties.
Instead, Phillips appears to see the bigger picture. The hope will be that he can get a little game-time until Ibrahima Konate returns from injury before a move opens up in January.
For his sake, it would be nice if a club like Benfica were still interested. Phillips is clearly a limited player, but he’s done very well for Liverpool whenever called upon. He may not have the quality to play Champions League level football in the long-run, but he’d definitely give it a good go.