Liverpool centre-back Nat Phillips has signed a new long-term contract before heading out on his first loan spell, joining 2.Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart.
Phillips was expected to make the breakthrough to the first-team setup at Melwood after a promising pre-season last year, but unfortunate injuries hampered his progress.
The defender spent much of last season on the treatment table and, after returning, joined the senior squad for this summer’s preparations only to be cut from the group before the Napoli friendly.
At 22, Phillips was in desperate need of regular first-team football, and he is set to be given the opportunity in the German second tier.
Released by Bolton prior to his move to Liverpool, Phillips should gain considerable experience in 2.Bundesliga, working under new manager Tim Walter, who was previously in charge of Bayern Munich II.
Stuttgart currently sit second in the table after two games, winning one and drawing one, with Holger Badstuber, Marc-Oliver Kempf and Marcin Kaminski rotated at centre-back so far.
Injury to Kaminski, however, prompted the move the Reds’ No. 47, with a deal swiftly negotiated.
“I am very happy to be here,” Phillips told vfb.de.
“[Stuttgart] is a club with a great tradition and I want to do my part to ensure that the return to the Bundesliga succeeds.”
Sporting director Sven Mislintat, who worked with Jurgen Klopp in building a dominant Borussia Dortmund side, described the youngster as having “all the prerequisites to quickly become an important factor.”
Stuttgart are next in action on Monday night, when they visit Hansa in the first round of the DFB Cup.
Good luck, Nat!