Newcastle United have reportedly emerged as the latest club to be linked with a move for Liverpool defender Nathaniel Phillips.
A recent column from Daily Telegraph has offered a detailed report on Newcastle United’s transfer policy as they look to stave off relegation. It is apparent that Eddie Howe & co. are set for a busy January transfer window, with the former Bournemouth manager particularly keen on reinforcing his options in the defensive department.
The Magpies have been linked with a move for several defenders across England and Europe. However, it appears they now have Nathaniel Phillips on their radar, as the club looks for cost-effective options – players who can not only help them fight through the relegation scrap but also remain a part of the team, should they get relegated to the Championship come May.
Formerly of Stuttgart, Phillips was one of the backbones of the Liverpool defence that suffered a major injury crisis last season. Filling in for the injured trifecta of Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez, the 24-year-old ended up with 17 Premier League appearances, helping the club seal an unlikely top-four finish.
While Phillips’s performances were not extraordinary, his contributions in defence were indeed critical in helping Liverpool get over the line. But it appears the Englishman is now ruing a missed transfer opportunity in the summer, as he has fallen down the pecking order at Anfield, after the return of van Dijk and Matip, coupled with the summer arrival of Ibrahima Konate.
The 24-year-old is yet to even feature in a single Premier League game for Liverpool, leading to speculations over his long-term future at the club. West Ham are among the clubs interested in the services of the former Bolton centre-back in the upcoming January transfer window.
However, they are now set to face stiff competition from Newcastle United. The Magpies are in dire need of defensive reinforcements, having conceded the most amount of goals in the Premier League so far this campaign.
Eddie Howe is considering a move for a host of talented players across Europe, including Manchester City defender Nathan Ake. But in Phillips, Newcastle will have a defender who will be more than willing to spearhead the defence and their rebuilding process should they get relegated this term, which would invariably slow the club’s project of becoming a European powerhouse.