Why Nat Phillips was subbed at half-time – as Tyler Morton assists on debut

With club football returning after the international break, Liverpool’s loanees were back in action – and two even faced off against each other.

Liverpool’s two most high-profile players out on loan, Nat Phillips and Fabio Carvalho, both played their part at the weekend, but neither featured for the full game.

Phillips’ matchday was a more positive one, despite having to come off at half-time in Celtic’s 3-0 win over Dundee.

His boss at Celtic, Brendan Rodgers, told BBC Sportsround: “Nat just rolled his ankle right in the last action of the first half so we wanted to just protect him and make sure he’s OK and available for Tuesday.”

Rodgers hopes he will be fit enough to play away at Feyenoord on Tuesday in the Champions League, something none of his team-mates back at Anfield will be doing this season.

MADRID, SPAIN - Tuesday, April 6, 2021: Real Madrid's Toni Kroos (L) and Liverpool's Nathaniel Phillips during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg game between Real Madird CF and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. (Pic by Propaganda)

For the 45 minutes Phillips was on the pitch, he played against fellow Liverpool loanee Owen Beck.

The Liverpool left-back is a regular starter for Dundee and played 90 minutes for the eighth time already this season.

Meanwhile, Carvalho should also feature in Europe’s premier competition this season, but he will need to earn his spot in the team.

So far at RB Leipzig, he has played just 44 minutes in five games he has been available for, including Saturday’s 3-0 win vs. Augsburg.

He was given 25 minutes to impress manager Marco Rose.

Also in the Bundesliga, Sepp van den Berg started a third consecutive game for Mainz as they lost 3-1 to Wataru Endo‘s old team, Stuttgart.

Closer to home, Tyler Morton impressed on his debut for Hull, coming off the bench to help rescue a 1-1 draw against Coventry, with his clever pass setting up Aaron Connolly for a late equalising header.

TORINO, ITALY - Tuesday, March 15, 2022: Liverpool's captain Tyler Morton during the pre-match warm-up before the UEFA Youth League Quarter-Final between Juventus Under-19's and Liverpool FC Under-19's at the Juventus Training Centre. Juventus won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After the match his manager, Liam Rosenior, admitted that Morton is “not up to full fitness at all,” but said to the Hull Daily Mail: “I thought he was magnificent when he came on.

“He showed so many touches of class, so many touches of quality, he kept us on the ball was brave and he showed exactly why we worked so hard to bring him to the club.”

Rosenior also revealed that the Wirralian “turned down a lot of clubs to” go to Hull.

Billy Koumetio had a less successful debut as he was sent off on his first appearance for USL Dunkerque.

In the 52nd minute, the defender picked up his second yellow card of the match as his team drew 0-0 against Grenoble in Ligue 2.

Meanwhile, goalkeepers Harvey Davies and Luke Hewitson played 90 minutes for Crewe and Stalybridge Celtic respectively, and James Norris made his league debut for Tranmere.

Liverpool Loan Watch Roundup

  • Fabio Carvalho (RB Leipzig) – 26 mins vs. Augsburg
  • Nat Phillips (Celtic) – 45 mins vs. Dundee
  • Sepp van den Berg (Mainz) – 90 mins vs. Stuttgart
  • Tyler Morton (Hull) – 31 mins vs. Coventry
  • Harvey Davies (Crewe) – 90 mins vs. Wimbledon
  • Owen Beck (Dundee) – 90 mins vs. Celtic
  • Billy Koumetio (USL Dunkerque) – 52 mins vs. Grenoble
  • James Norris (Tranmere) – 20 mins vs. Crawley
  • Luke Hewitson (Stalybridge Celtic) – 90 mins vs. Witton Albion

Not used: James Balagizi, Dominic Corness, Luca Stephenson, Jakub Ojrzynski
To play Monday: Anderson Arroyo
Injured: Calvin Ramsay, Rhys Williams