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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, July 31, 2022: Liverpool's Nathaniel Phillips during the pre-match warm-up before a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and RC Strasbourg Alsace at Anfield. Strasbourg won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Departing Liverpool coach confirms what we all expected on Nat Phillips’ future

Departing goalkeeping coach John Achterberg has appeared to confirm what we expected about Nat Phillips‘ Liverpool future, hinting at a a summer transfer.

Now 27 years old, Phillips has spent the last year on loan at two different clubs, Celtic and Cardiff.

With another two years left on his contract and a new manager arriving, Liverpool will likely look to sell Phillips this summer on a permanent basis.

Departing coach Achterberg seemed to confirm this on Instagram in a response to Phillips’ touching tribute to manager Jurgen Klopp.

Achterberg wrote: “You a good defender Nat! Good luck in your next move.”

This was commented beneath Phillips’ post thanking Klopp for his time at Liverpool, which read: “Thank you Boss, for showing belief in me, and for giving me the opportunity and privilege to represent Liverpool FC.

“I’ll be forever grateful for the experiences I’ve had and the moments we have shared together.”

The news comes off the back of a mixed season. He went up to Scotland with big expectations, but injury struck and he struggled to play in Brendan Rodgers’ high defensive line at Celtic.

He returned to Liverpool midway through the campaign but was soon moved on, with a loan to Cardiff in Wales agreed.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 15, 2022: Liverpool's Nathaniel Phillips during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Playing in the Championship, Phillips finally got a run of games together and started 17 of his 18 second division matches, helping manager Erol Bulut’s side finish 12th of 24 teams.

Though it seems a long time since 2021, when Phillips was partnering Rhys Williams in Liverpool’s defence, it shouldn’t be forgotten he is player who, when used effectively, can lead from the back.

While Champions League football at Celtic seemed attractive, the style of football didn’t suit Phillips and he will likely encounter a similar problem when Arne Slot arrives at Liverpool.

All this points to a departure in the summer, as Liverpool aim to earn as much as possible from outgoings, in an era perhaps about to be defined by tight financial restrictions.