Journalist claims ‘popular and respected’ Liverpool star ‘needs to start playing football now’; summer departure is likely

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Neil Jones has claimed that Nat Phillips ‘needs to start playing football’ regularly and believes a departure from Liverpool in the summer is looking likely.

The Bolton-born defender has been linked with a move away from the Reds for a number of seasons but no such deal has ever materialised.

The recent injury to fellow central defender Ibou Konate, coupled with Virgil van Dijk’s hamstring issue, meant that Jurgen Klopp was not willing to let our No. 47 leave the club in January.

“Yet again, it looked like Nat Phillips would be leaving Liverpool before the transfer window closed. And yet again, no move materialised, in part due to the injury suffered by Ibrahima Konate,” Jones wrote for GOAL.

“The centre-back has been regularly linked with a transfer away from Anfield in recent years, but for one reason or another has always ended up sticking around. Phillips, in fairness, never lets Klopp down, and is a popular and respected member of the Reds’ squad, but he surely needs to start playing football now. 

“Nobody at Liverpool would begrudge him that.”

READ MORE: ‘In everyone’s best interests’ – Neil Jones suggests 24-year-old Liverpool star may leave as he seeks regular first-team football

The 25-year-old is contracted to the club until 2025 after signing a new deal 18 months ago and reports suggested that the Merseysiders would’ve accepted offers in the region of £10-15m for the towering centre half had they not suffered injuries to other players in the position.

When Klopp has a fully fit squad to choose from, Phillips is Liverpool’s fifth-choice central defender with van Dijk, Konate, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez currently ahead of him in the pecking order.

The Englishman has featured just five times for the Merseysiders this term (across all competitions) and has not been in three of the last four match day squads.

He performs well whenever called upon, however, and similar to Caoimhin Kelleher, Reds supporters would understand if he was to seek a fresh start and regular first-team football elsewhere.

Whatever the Bolton-born defender decides to do at the end of the season, we wish him all the best.

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