Nat Phillips “would love” to continue representing Liverpool, but the defender remains eager to put his career first as the Reds look to welcome back their centre-back contingent.
But you all know what would transpire and it presented an opportunity to Phillips to make a valuable contribution at Liverpool, and his 20 appearances attest to that.
The 24-year-old had his bags packed in the summer to depart on a permanent deal and that it fell through would prove key, but all parties would not have known that at the time.
And while the 24-year-old has revealed no conversations have yet to take place over his immediate future in an interview with the Liverpool Echo, Phillips is clear in his own mind that he wants a defined role and regular first-team football.
“We haven’t had a conversation about it up until now,” Phillips said. “I think the situation is, initially they didn’t anticipate me having the season and putting in the performances that I did do.
“Maybe where they might have thought I was just going to do a job and then they would be able to sell me and I would move on, now they’re having second thoughts. I’m not sure.
“I still need to have the conversations with them and just see if there is a role for me there and what role they would want me to play.
“It would depend on if they saw a role for me at Liverpool and then what role that would be. I would have to decide what is best for myself off the back of that.
“I have loved all of my time at Liverpool up until this moment, to have been taken in by the fans so much this year and have loved having the opportunity to play for the club.
“I have loved every minute of it and would love to carry on playing for the club.
“But I’ve also got to take into consideration what is best for my career, and that will depend on what role Liverpool see they do or don’t have for me and I’ll have to go from there.”
At 24 and coming off the back of a season-long loan spell with Stuttgart where promotion back to the Bundesliga was sealed in 2019/20, the idea of a role on the periphery is unlikely to appeal for the long-term.
It sets up a decisive summer for Phillips and Liverpool as there are currently seven centre-back options for Klopp, including: Van Dijk, Gomez, Matip, Konate, Williams, Phillips and Ben Davies.