West Ham United are reportedly the latest club to register an interest in Liverpool defender Nat Phillips who looks set to leave Anfield this summer.
According to a report from Sky Sports, Liverpool defender Nat Phillips is a man in demand in the ongoing transfer window, with West Ham United now entering the race for the Englishman’s signing.
Phillips has been with Liverpool for five years now, having moved from Bolton Wanderers in 2016. The centre-back made his first-team debut in January last year, which came sandwiched between two loan stints at German outfit VfB Stuttgart. Back at Anfield last summer, the 24-year-old did not feature much in the early parts of the campaign.
However, with the frontline defensive trio of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all suffering from season-ending injuries, Phillips became a permanent fixture at the back for Liverpool in the second half of the 2020/21 campaign. Indeed, the defender played a key role in the Reds’ resurgence at the business end of the season, helping them clinch a top-four finish in the league table.
Despite his heroics last season, Phillips is unlikely to get much game-time at Liverpool in the upcoming campaign as the aforementioned trio is back to full fitness and will be available for selection. Furthermore, the Merseyside giants have also added Ibrahima Konate to the roster, effectively pushing Phillps to the fifth-choice centre-back.
So, it should not come as a surprise that the defender harbours hopes of an exit in order to keep playing regularly. Burnley had been touted as a destination not long ago, while more recently, Brighton & Hove Albion have set their sights on Phillips as a replacement for England international Ben White, who is on his way out.
Now, West Ham United have also emerged as a suitor for Phillips as per the aforementioned report. The Hammers could certainly use a young defender like Phillips in their ranks, given as Craig Dawson and Angelo Ogbonna are in their thirties while Fabian Balbuena has departed the club this summer. In addition, Ogbonna’s contract also runs out in less than a year.
With West Ham set to participate in the UEFA Europa League this season, manager David Moyes will need adequate depth in the squad so he can rotate players between competitions. All factors considered, a move for someone like Phillips, who proved his credentials under tough circumstances last season at Liverpool and his best years ahead of him, makes sense.
It now remains to be seen if the east London outfit decide to press ahead with their interest in Phillips, although given that the Liverpool ace is being chased by several other clubs, West Ham will need to act quickly to secure his signing.