The 25-year-old has consistently been linked with a move every six months but for one reason or another, an obstacle emerges to keep him at Anfield.
Phillips has been ever the professional at the cost of his own minutes on the pitch, featuring for 229 minutes this season in addition to 20 games as an unused substitute.
The Reds are to recall Williams early after playing just 15 minutes since Christmas, but Doyle states that the club “have been happy with the first-team experience gained.”
But how does this help Phillips?
It will see Williams take over as the fifth-choice centre-back and allow Phillips to make a January switch – a scenario that has precedent with the same set of circumstances unfolding last season.
Despite limited opportunities to put himself in the shop window, Phillips is said to be “of interest to a number of clubs,” with Liverpool expecting offers before the January transfer deadline.
The window shuts on January 31 at 11pm (GMT).
The Athletic’s James Pearce says the club are “prepared to listen to both loan and permanent offers” for the 25-year-old, who attracted interest from the likes of Bournemouth, Burnley, Southampton and Benfica last summer.
Williams is to be the latest young Red recalled from loan this month following Fidel O’Rourke, James Balagizi, Jakub Ojrzynski, Max Woltman and Billy Koumetio‘s return to Kirkby.