Danny Mills has suggested that Liverpool were motivated to hand Nathaniel Phillips a new contract by the prospect of protecting his value.
The Bolton-born centre-half agreed an improved four-year deal after having impressed in the club’s 2020/21 campaign whilst deputising in the backline.
“That’s the way I look at it. They’re protecting their asset, making sure he could be around for some time,” the former Leeds United star told Football Insider. “Could he break in? Yes, is the answer. But they’ll be looking at it and be thinking, ‘We’ll protect our asset, keep him happy, just in case we need him and we’ll go from there’.”
Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip have since been favoured for the starting-XI since the start of the season proper.
We at the EOTK would certainly be quick to laud the Englishman’s talents, not to mention his significant contributions last term whilst the likes of first-choice duo Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez (among other talents) were out of action.
However, it’s difficult to see the 24-year-old breaking back into Jurgen Klopp’s first-team plans beyond the domestic cup competitions given the quality of the centre-halves standing in his way.
As such, we must admit to being pleasantly surprised that the defender agreed to extend upon his current terms.
Regardless, it is a move that benefits both the club and player, with Mills right to point out that updated terms protects Phillips’ value in case a prospective suitor should decide to come knocking for his services down the line.