Andros Townsend has claimed that Nathaniel Phillips could leave Liverpool at the end of the season, despite his sustained brilliance under Jurgen Klopp this term.
Phillips, 23, has become an integral figure for the Reds in recent weeks, deputising superbly following the season-ending injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
Alongside Ozan Kabak, the pair have registered three consecutive clean sheets since their partnership was orchestrated at the end of last month.
However, Townsend believes that Phillips’ form could prompt him to re-evaluate his future if Klopp wasn’t able to guarantee him a prominent and long-term role next season.
Speaking to Stadium Astro, Townsend was asked about Phillips’ future at Liverpool, having impressed for the English champions in recent weeks.
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“I think it’s a bit premature. At the moment he’s in the team and playing well, I’m sure he’ll get a run of games between now and the end of the season,” he said.
“But when it comes to next season and all the defenders are back, and he’s had a taste of Premier League football, he doesn’t want to go back to the under-23’s or warming the bench.
“When everyone is back he’ll be asking serious questions of Jurgen Klopp and when he does fit in his long-term strategy.
“If there is no long term strategy then he’ll look to move on. If he does then he will bide his time even more, get a loan move and gain more experience.”
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Against Wolves, Phillips – who earns £64,615-a-week, per Spotrac – was absolutely imperious once again to get Liverpool over the line.
In total, he won six of his aerial duels, took 59 touches and made two interceptions and six clearances during a hard-fought 1-0 win at Molineux.
So, given his recent form, could Phillips really leave Liverpool come to the end of the season?
Well, it certainly is a possibility given Liverpool’s first-choice centre-back pairing will, hopefully, be made available to Klopp again next season.
Indeed, Phillips has proven his quality in the absence of Van Dijk and Gomez, though, it’s fair to assume that he is still some way off usurping either of the aforementioned all-stars in Klopp’s defensive hirearchy.
Given his recent performances, then, Phillips certainly won’t be short of offers should he choose to seek out a more sustainable role elsewhere.