Liverpool let Ben Davies leave on loan this week but what does that mean for Nat Phillips? The 24-year-old is an uncertain position.
Ben Davies joined Sheffield United on loan this week. It always seemed likely that the centre-half would move on, though it wasn’t always certain.
The Mirror claimed last month that Jurgen Klopp asked him to turn down offers and remain with Liverpool. Instead, he’s off on loan.
So what does that mean? And what does it mean for Nat Phillips, who remains with the Reds?
Ben Davies leaves Liverpool on loan
The only reason we can think of that would see Liverpool keep Davies is if Phillips was leaving. They literally never played the ex-Preston defender and clearly rate Phillips higher.
But that does beg the question of why they want either. Liverpool have four elite centre-backs right now, leaving little room for others.
Will either Phillips or Davies play ahead of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip or Ibrahima Konate? It seems unlikely unless there are injuries.
And that’s the big factor here. The first three all returned from serious issues this summer and Liverpool likely wanted at least one of Davies and Phillips around to cover.
After all, there’s always a chance that one or two of them break down again. There’s a chance all four do – they all did last season.
So Liverpool letting Davies leave tells us one of two things. Either there are no worries at all about the first-choice centre-backs, or Phillips is staying this season.
Klopp wants the latter to happen, according to the Liverpool Echo’s Paul Gorst. It sounds as though he might have his wish, given it’s very unlikely that Liverpool are 100% confident that the injuries are gone.
So we believe this points to Phillips staying for the season. Things can certainly change before the window closes but that appears to be the suggestion with this move.