One of Liverpool’s many loanees has admitted that he ‘needed’ to leave Anfield during the summer and couldn’t pass up the ‘great opportunity’ he may be afforded at his temporary home.
Towards the end of the transfer window, Nat Phillips secured a half-season loan departure to Celtic, who are competing in the Champions League group stage over the next three months.
The 26-year-old had found game-time very difficult to come by with the Reds and knew that he had to seek out a chance to play more regularly elsewhere.
Reflecting on his move to Glasgow, the defender said (via Liverpool Echo): “I’ve gone through a period at Liverpool where I’ve not been playing a great deal.
“Ultimately, in the transfer window, I knew that I needed to go and get games regularly somewhere. Celtic have given me a great opportunity to do that at a good level and at a huge club.
“The stadium is always packed full of fans which, as a player, you want. You want to be playing in those atmospheres at a club with high aspirations.”
We don’t blame Phillips for feeling that he needed to get away from Liverpool for a few months considering how little he’s played over the last year. If anything, it’d be more worrying if he were content to stick around and barely get a look-in under Jurgen Klopp.
A meagre tally of five senior appearances in 2022/23 (Transfermarkt) starkly lays bare his standing in the centre-back pecking order at his parent club, and it was telling that he was allowed to leave on loan even with both Virgil van Dijk (suspension) and Ibrahima Konate (injury) unavailable recently.
The misfortune of several defenders at Celtic turned out to be his lucky break in presenting him with an opportunity to go to a club who can boast Champions League football and where, until such time that Brendan Rodgers gets a few more bodies back, he should enjoy plenty of action on the pitch.
Phillips has admitted that he’ll need to have ‘conversations’ in January regarding what happens after that point, but for now he has what looks a glorious chance to make up for lost time and try to finally forge a way into Klopp’s long-term reckoning at Anfield.
Let’s hope the 26-year-old can seize his opportunity in Glasgow and, potentially, still do a job for Liverpool thereafter.