According to Football Insider, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was tempted by a January loan approach from Nottingham Forest for Nat Phillips.
Football Insider report that Klopp ultimately decided Phillips could be important for the Reds, despite the fact that the side completed Deadline Day deals for centre-backs Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies.
It’s added that Klopp was not keen on a loan exit or a permanent sale for the academy graduate in the end, in a decision that looks to have paid off for the club.
Phillips broke into the first-team fold when Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez suffered long-term knee injuries, and also featured whilst Joel Matip was sidelined, but saw little action when defensive midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho were the starting pairing at centre-back.
With Henderson now injured, Phillips has won some chances at the heart of the defence recently, whilst Fabinho’s push back into midfield now makes the 23-year-old a starter.
Klopp admitted that the plan for the rest of the season is to start Phillips alongside Schalke loanee Kabak, with it clear that the former is ahead of Rhys Williams and Davies in the pecking order.
Phillips enjoyed arguably his best performances for the Reds earlier this week, with Klopp hailing the man who spent last season on loan at Stuttgart in Bundesliga 2 as a ‘monster’.
That dominant display came against RB Leipzig in the 6ft3 ace’s Champions League debut, presenting some real promise in regards to Phillips for the future.
Phillips has started eight of his 10 appearances for the Reds this season, with all but one coming in the Premier League.
Whilst the team’s results and performances in the top-flight have been troubled since the turn of the year, what Phillips showed against Leipzig may well hint that he’s beginning to settle at the top level.