“He’s Struggling At This Moment” – Celtic Podcaster On Liverpool ‘Monster’ Who Is Set To Return

Written by:

Share the love

Liverpool sit top of the Premier League, face a quarter-final clash with West Ham in the Carabao Cup and have already booked a place in the last 16 of the Europa League – all going swimmingly…

However, it’s fair to say the Reds haven’t fully clicked into gear as of yet and question marks still remain over certain key positions in Jurgen Klopp’s squad. 

Whilst the majority of the issues from last season have been resolved by smart summer recruitment and the emergence of Jarell Quansah as a genuine central defensive option, the season-ending injury to Joel Matip has brought about the conversation over possible January reinforcements. 

One man who has previously stood up to be counted amidst an injury crisis at Anfield is Nat Phillips and the 26-year-old has already been mentioned as a potential solution for Klopp as his loan spell at Celtic ends in the New Year. 

How good are Liverpool? | The Deep Dive

To get a sense of how the no-nonsense defender has fared north of the border, Dan spoke to Tino from The Celtic Exchange

On the deal that saw Phillips join the Hoops: “It wasn’t planned for Celtic to sign him but we signed two centre-halves in the summer and both got injured very quickly. So before the end of the window, Celtic went out and made what was classed as an emergency loan signing in Nat Phillips. 

“He comes with good pedigree, without not seeing much of him before he arrived you think, well he’s at Liverpool so he must have something to offer. He might not have played loads for Liverpool but the likes of Virgil van Dijk are a big reason so we were relatively excited (to sign him) but it’s not quite worked out for the player or club at this moment in time.”

On his performances so far: “It started okay. Celtic under Ange Postecoglou had a real foundation at the centre half with Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt with Joe Hart behind them, this season we’ve struggled to get a consistent pairing at any point. It’s been so chop and change which has been unfair to Phillips and the other lads who’ve had to slot in and out again. 

“I appreciate from a consistent point of view it’s been hard to step in and out. You mentioned he’s an out-and-out defender and I would say he’s the kind of guy you’d absolutely want in the trenches if you wanted to win your headers, win your tackles and clear your lines, be nothing but a defender. But it’s different at Celtic when you get a lot of time on the ball and I don’t think that’s his comfort zone. 

“He came off the bench in a 4-1 win last midweek in a really good all-round display with the exception of Phillips who looked a bit shaky. On Sunday (vs Kilmarnock) he just had one of those games, his confidence looks to have gone, he scored an own goal and certainly played a part in the second goal. At one point the camera panned to him and you could just tell by his expression, he looked anxious and uncomfortable. He’s struggling at this moment in time.”

On what happens next: “I don’t think Phillips starts (vs Feyenoord). I don’t know what the future holds, my gut feeling is that he will return to Liverpool in January. Celtic have got the inured players back more or less and if the club were inclined to take Phillips on permanently if that was a move for all parties, the finances don’t allow it, my information is that he’s on around £60,000 a week down there and that would be round about double Celtic’s top earner. Based on that alone it wouldn’t be a goer.

“Overall I am surprised he never became the first choice partner to Cameron Carter-Vickers. Generally speaking, a player coming from Liverpool to Celtic you would expect to command a place but it’s just not happened, it’s not worked out and that’s just the way loan moves can go I suppose.

On his spell overall: “Personally questioned the motivations of loan players because they can be away from family and all that stuff that goes on in the background. He doesn’t look like a player who is particularly motivated at this moment in time, that’s not to be confused with not being a good professional because he definitely is and Brendan Rodgers speaks well about him all the time. 

“If he goes back down south in January I think most will wish him all the best.”

On the rise of Celtic academy prospect Ben Doak: “We’re looking on enviously because he’s such a talent. I spoke to Greig Robertson and I asked him who are the ones to get excited about and he said ‘Look out for this kid, he’s something special’ and part of it was so determined and convinced he was going to make it.

“From what I’ve seen he looks like he takes it in his stride, so it’s a huge loss to Celtic, a huge plus to Liverpool but on the flipside, he will go on to play for the Scotland national team and we will see it there. He looks like a really nice kid, he’s got great people behind him I believe so yeah, exciting to see where he goes but it’s just a shame he’s doing in there and not in green and white.”

WOW! A first look inside Liverpool’s new Anfield Road Stand

Redmen Reacts

Whilst there is little doubt Phillips – who was described by Klopp as a ‘monster’ – was a key part of Liverpool’s surprise third-place finish in 20/21, his time at Celtic Park has far from gone to plan and asking the former Stuttgart loanee to act as an option for Klopp seems farfetched. 

Instead, the Englishman could well be sent out on loan elsewhere to get more first-team football and The Reds may need to enter the market to ensure they have enough cover for Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez and Quansah. 

Spread the love
Supporter's Section

With over 30 shows a month

we cover every aspect of Liverpool FC, past present & future.

Now is the time to subscribe.

Previews, reactions, analysis, interviews

and more through the ups & the downs!

Join Redmen TV Plus Today

Subscribe Today Or
| Website designed & hosted by Cyberfrog Design Web Design Liverpool