There are now less than three weeks left in this summer’s transfer window, and still a few loose ends for Liverpool.
One of those extremes is, again, Nat Phillips. The great centre-back had been searching the world as if he was going to leave Liverpool for good. But now, his immediate future is again in question after the injury of Ibrahima Konaté.
Following Konate’s dismissal, Klopp has suggested that Phillips could now be retained as a fourth choice. But with up to £10m on the line for Liverpool, Klopp has another option.
Advance Sepp van den Berg. The Dutchman is still with the first team after a productive pre-season. van den Berg attracted a lot of interest on the loans, it must be said. But with a spare berth now a real possibility, now might be a good time to give it a shot.
Konaté puts a spoke in the wheels
Unfortunately, we’re looking at things here without knowing how long Konaté will be missing.
Given that it was a knee injury, however, it could take months rather than weeks. However, when confirming the injury, Liverpool announced that the Frenchman would miss ‘the start of the season’.
Now that could mean anything. But reading between the lines, I hope Konate will be back in the fall.
This will only leave a few months for whoever steps in to make their mark. As a fourth choice, anyone is unlikely to have too many chances to do so.
As a result, it doesn’t make much sense to keep Phillips around. He would have a lot of interest in his signature and could earn the Reds a very good profit.
For him, sticking around just to get a few appearances doesn’t feel justified, not when there’s a quality young player in reserve.
van den Berg showing he can be counted on
For van den Berg, he would surely get more football if he joined one of the four teams reportedly interested in him. But it would also be a great experience for the 20-year-old to be a fully-fledged member of the first team for a long period of time.
If things go well with Konaté’s recovery, then van den Berg could be loaned out in January.
As Liverpool have found with Phillips in the past, it can be difficult to move a player for a good sum in the middle of the season. A loan is another story.
Judging by his pre-season appearances, van den Berg is a different player to the one who left in 2021. He was ‘excellent’ at Preston last season and deserves the chance to show what he has learned.
For Phillips, it’s time for Liverpool to release him. He will be twenty-six during the season, he must find a suitable home. A decision must be made one way or another in the coming weeks, let’s see what Jurgen chooses to do.
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