There was no way that Liverpool’s plan this season involved Nat Phillips starting games in the Premier League, but last night demonstrated that young players can step up and take their chances.
The young defender spent last season on loan at German side Stuttgart and he was impressive, but his best chance of playing regular football this year would’ve been through another loan spell.
Multiple injuries led to him getting a chance against West Ham last night, and he was so good that he was awarded the Man of the Match.
The Athletic have given some of the inside story about his failed transfer to Swansea this summer, and it’s an interesting one when you see how Liverpool treated him.
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He was poised to move to the Welsh side after they sold Joe Rodon to Spurs, but it sounds like Liverpool felt Swansea were messing their player around and didn’t like how they conducted the transfer, so they pulled the plug.
They did end up signing a couple of other players instead so it’s possible that they were negotiating with multiple players to see who would join before making a final decision.
It shows you how fine the margins are because in different circumstances it would look like Liverpool had stunted his career, but both club and player have been rewarded for sticking by each other.