Friday, August 12, 2022

Bournemouth Keen On Roping In This Liverpool Defender On Permanent Terms: What’s Next For Him?

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Pratyay Maitra
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If a report from Liverpool Echo is believed to be true, Bournemouth would consider a permanent swoop for Liverpool centre-back Nathaniel Phillips if they get promoted to the Premier League for the upcoming campaign. The Englishman joined the Cherries in winter and has cemented a starting role ahead of Gary Cahill and Chris Mepham.

The Reds, meanwhile, have ample central defensive options in their ranks. Ibrahima Konate was snapped up in summer to challenge and cover the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez in the heart of the backline. Phillips, therefore, had his minutes limited in Merseyside and Jurgen Klopp, the Anfield chief, sanctioned his loan transfer for the remainder of the ongoing term.

The 25-year-old Bolton-born defender earned a cult status last season for his heroics amid severe injury absence of first-team stars. Van Dijk, Matip, Gomez, as well as January loanee Ozan Kabak, were sidelined for months and the outcast centre-half stepped in and delivered to secure a Champions League berth.

Phillips, in his mid-twenties, should feature week in week out and with around 50 senior appearances so far including his loan spells at VfB Stuttgart and Bournemouth, it’s high time for him to seek a permanent swoop for regular gametime.

Liverpool defender Nathaniel Phillips
MILAN, ITALY – DECEMBER 07: Liverpool FC head coach Juergen Klopp issues instructions to his player Nathaniel Phillips during the UEFA Champions League group B match between AC Milan and Liverpool FC at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium on December 07, 2021 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/).

How His Minutes At Liverpool Helped Him Settle In Bournemouth Defence

The Cherries, flying high in the Championship, are only next to leaders Fulham in the league standings and have done well so far under Scott Parker en route to securing a direct promotion with 10 gameweeks remaining. They are playing out from the back banking on their passing game, something Phillips has developed quite well in recent months under Klopp’s tutelage.

Although Phillips has been their standout performer in deep defence, Bournemouth must offer a sizeable fee to secure his long-term services. The Liverpool star is contracted to the Merseyside club until the summer of 2025 and a strong finish to the campaign might grab the attention of many other suitors. A host of Premier League clubs enquired about his availability back in January, but the Reds shipped him to the Vitality Stadium for assured football.

However, Joe Gomez is the current fourth-choice at Anfield behind Van Dijk, Matip and Konate. He has lost his place in the England squad and the same could be regained with playing minutes in due time. Liverpool can’t afford to lose both him and Phillips together and a decision has to be made for their English pair.

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