Nat Phillips has rejoined 2.Bundesliga side Stuttgart on loan for the remainder of the campaign, after a brief spell back with Liverpool.
His stint on Merseyside was expected to be brief, with Stuttgart holding hope of renewing their association after the winter break in Germany, and this has now been confirmed.
Phillips’ return to the Mercedes-Benz Arena comes ahead of the return to domestic action at home to Heidenheim on January 29.
Stuttgart lost just five of their 18 league games before the winter break, and sit third in 2.Bundesliga, level on points with second-placed Hamburg and three behind leaders Arminia.
Though Phillips wasn’t a regular starter in the first half of the campaign, with just seven starts in the league, three of those came in the last four games, with a bout of angina ruling him out just before the interval.
He will be hoping to build on this successful spell, and his experiences back with Liverpool could aid his pursuit, though others may have impressed Tim Walter during a mid-season training camp in Marbella.
Before his move back to Stuttgart, Klopp described Phillips as “such an exceptional person.”
“He had a lot of interesting experiences in the city where I was born,” he added, “I know the people there, they can be kind of strange!”
The ex-Bolton youth signed a new contract with Liverpool before leaving on his initial loan, though it is likely his future will be under review in the summer.