Nat Phillips made his season debut last night as Liverpool Under 21s faced Bolton Wanderers in the Papa John’s Trophy. The Reds suffered a 4-1 defeat.
Nat Phillips finally featured in a competitive game this season as he took on Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday evening. The defender captained Liverpool’s Under 21 team in the Papa John’s Trophy.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a positive night for Liverpool. They suffered a 4-1 defeat in Group D, leaving them on zero points after two games. They are a youth team competing against professional senior sides, however.
Elijah Dixon-Bonner got the goal for Liverpool but the young Reds were unable to prevent Bolton from overpowering them.
Nat Phillips faces Bolton
This was Phillips’s competitive debut this season, then, even if it technically came at youth level. We can’t imagine it’s how he wanted things to go.
Phillips was a hero for Liverpool in the last campaign, of course. The 24-year-old established himself as a Premier League defender, helping the Reds claim a top-3 finish. That rose his stock considerably high, given he was largely an afterthought this time a year ago.
However, Phillips got those games because of an injury crisis in Liverpool’s defence. Games would always be hard to come by once the stars returned, especially after the club signed Ibrahima Konate.
Thus we thought Phillips would leave over the summer. Instead, he stuck around and finds himself as a fifth-choice centre-back in a team that typically only plays with two.
It doesn’t appear that he’ll see senior action in the cups, either. Phillips didn’t feature against Norwich City in the EFL Cup as Jurgen Klopp used the game to hand minutes to Konate and Joe Gomez.
We wrote afterwards that Phillips’ career with Liverpool looked rather bleak. Now that he’s playing with the Under 21s, it’s hard to see how he breaks into the first-team setup again.
Surely, January will see the defender move on.