Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Newcastle United Identify This Liverpool Defender As A Target: Good Option For Howe?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, The Telegraph mentioned that Newcastle United have identified Liverpool defender Nathaniel Phillips as a target. It has been stated that the Magpies are looking to strengthen their defence and are eyeing a move for the Reds centre-half.

Phillips’ Impressive Form At Anfield Last Season

Phillips has just made two senior appearances for the Merseyside club this season, receiving a total of 46 minutes of game time across all competitions. He played a far prominent role for Liverpool in the previous campaign when he registered one goal and one assist in 20 senior matches for them on all fronts.

The 24-year-old proved his worth as a decent defender at the back by averaging 1.3 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 4.8 clearances per game in the Premier League last season. He has even been tidy when distributing possession after making 84.2% of his attempted passes in the English first division (stats via whoscored).

Newcastle United (Nathaniel Phillips)
BURNLEY, ENGLAND – MAY 19: Nathaniel Phillips of Liverpool celebrates with team mate Roberto Firmino after scoring their side’s second goal during the Premier League match between Burnley and Liverpool at Turf Moor on May 19, 2021 in Burnley, England. A limited number of fans will be allowed into Premier League stadiums as Coronavirus restrictions begin to ease in the UK. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/)
Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Is Phillips A Good Option For Newcastle United Head Coach Eddie Howe?

Phillips did well to fill in as a first-team starter for Liverpool last season when they were going through an injury crisis in defence. He proved himself to be a rock at the back as he timed his tackles well to earn possession back on the defensive end of the field.

Standing at 1.90m, the Bolton-born talent can make himself big to clear the danger when the opposition are on the offensive. He also wins his fair share of aerial duels and can even pass the ball well from the back.

Phillips is good enough to add a lot of bite and steel to Eddie Howe‘s defensive department. He could help the Magpies pick up some favourable results in the Premier League and get out of relegation trouble in the second half of this campaign. At 24, the English defensive ace has got his best years ahead of him which makes him a good option for the Magpies to consider during the winter transfer window. Plus, Phillips would be wise to opt for a switch to St. James’ Park where he will have a better shot at earning regular playing minutes in top-flight football.

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