Nat Phillips doesn’t appear to have any real future with Liverpool. The centre-back didn’t feature in the EFL Cup this week.
If Nat Phillips was to play for Liverpool this season, it was surely going to come in the EFL Cup. It’s the fourth priority for the Reds this season – as it usually is – and a competition where youngsters and squad players get opportunities.
It’s quite telling, then, that Phillips didn’t face Norwich City this week. Instead, Jurgen Klopp went with Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate as his centre-back pairing – and that’s fair enough.
The Liverpool boss has four fantastic options in the position, with Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip looking like the first-choice duo. But injuries and options make rotation inevitable, and we’ve seen both Gomez and Konate come into the fold this week.
Unfortunately, Phillips doesn’t appear to be in that rotation. He sat on the bench for the full 90 minutes, unable to get a game when the likes of Kaide Gordon, Conor Bradley and Tyler Morton could.
And while he might start in the next round against Preston North End, the future isn’t exactly bright if lower-league opposition in the EFL Cup is his only shot at a start. That or another injury crisis, of course.
Nat Phillips’ Liverpool future
We rate Phillips very highly and he proved last season that he’s Premier League quality. In fact, he’s capable of delivering good performances for a Champions League side.
But at 24, it’s hard to see how he has a future here. If he were included in Liverpool’s rotation at centre-back this season, we could see one. He’d be in the mix and with opportunities to impress and improve his standing.
That’s not the case, though, and someone like Konate is only going to get better and better over the next season or two. Gomez, too, is the same age as Phillips but vastly more experienced.
January will surely see Phillips look at options elsewhere, then. At this point it just seems like his only opportunity to move his career forward – as good as we think he is.