Jurgen Klopp explains plan after Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams recalled

With Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams both returning to Liverpool from failed loan spells in Scotland this month, Jurgen Klopp has explained the plan for the pair.

Five days into the January transfer window, Liverpool have already seen five players arrive back at the club from time away on loan.

Phillips’ half-season stint at Celtic was not renewed, after starting just four times, while Williams failed to make a single appearance for Aberdeen and joined Fabio Carvalho, Owen Beck and James Balagizi in being recalled.

With Joel Matip sidelined for the rest of the season with an ACL injury, This Is Anfield understands Phillips could stay beyond January as defensive cover.

Klopp all but confirmed this when asked about the plans for both Phillips and Williams, with the latter not given the same assurance.

“With Nat we have to see. We have to consider our own situation, stuff like this,” Klopp told reporters.

“He will definitely be with us until the end of the month. We will have talks and see our situation, that’s how it is.

“We really think highly actually of both, to be honest, because of the things the boys did when they were here.

“Now Nat, I’m not sure he would say it worked out 100 percent at Celtic.

“A little bit with injuries, but then if a team like Celtic is in a positive moment and you are in the team, then you stay in the team; if it’s not a positive moment and you are in the team, then you might go out.

“That says nothing about the quality. Nat will train with us, and then we will see how that develops.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, May 13, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates with Rhys Williams after the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. Liverpool won 4-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After their heroics in the 2020/21 campaign, Phillips had already established himself as more of a concrete first-team option than Williams.

While Phillips played eight more times in the following two seasons, the younger centre-back has not made another appearance, instead taking in loans at Swansea and Blackpool.

He was recalled from both of those, too, but Klopp’s assessment of Williams’ time at Aberdeen does not bode well for his chances at Liverpool.

“With Rhys it’s slightly different. He will be first with the U21s,” the manager confirmed.

“I will have to talk to him about why his loan spell didn’t work out, that was obviously different.

“The boy I know, I would expect to play in Scotland, 100 percent, from the first until the last second, if it’s not Celtic or Rangers where it’s always slightly different – and he didn’t.

“I will have to talk to him about that, didn’t do that yet but it will happen definitely. Then we will see what the outcome of that conversation is.”