Bournemouth's Nathaniel Phillips in action (Image: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

Bournemouth boss expresses ‘hope’ of extending Nat Phillips’ stay

Nat Phillips is the fifth player in recent years to swap Liverpool for Bournemouth either on loan or permanently, but it is a transition to the latter that the Cherries are open to the possibility of.

The centre-back joined Bournemouth in January until the end of the season after the Reds rebuffed offers from Premier League clubs that fell short of their valuation.

At the time that the deal was agreed, it was reported that the two clubs also negotiated a purchase option, with Phillips given five months to show his worth.

To date, he has featured nine times for Scott Parker’s side, missing only one game since making the switch on deadline day due to illness.

And his performances to date have been praised by Parker as Bournemouth‘s charge back to the Premier League continues in earnest — they sit second in the Championship, six points clear of Huddersfield and with three games in hand.

Over two months into his stay, Parker is hopeful discussions can take place over the 25-year-old’s future but acknowledged that it is not yet time to do so.

“Maybe, hopefully,” Parker told Dorset Live of Phillips extending his stay. “At this moment in time, that has not really been discussed.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 15, 2021: Liverpool's Nathaniel Phillips during the pre-match warm-up before the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 1 game between Liverpool FC and AC Milan at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-2. (Pic by Paul Currie/Propaganda)

“As always, whether with Nat or all the players who are on loan and in where they sit or don’t sit, it is really irrelevant.

“Just tell them to keep their heads down, focus on performing and that (their future) probably ends up taking care of itself, one way or another. That’s how I’ve learned things.

“Nat needs to be consistent in his levels, which he has done. He’s done very, very well since he’s come into the side. He’s an extremely bright lad. A very, very good professional.

“He is someone who’s engaged and wants to learn every day. He is invested in us and the team. He needs to continue that.”

While contracted at Anfield until 2025, it is expected that a permanent move for Phillips will be sought again in the summer with the centre-back position well-stocked, and Bournemouth‘s return to the Premier League could very well aid in that.