Friday, May 20, 2022

Bournemouth sign Nat Phillips on loan transfer from Liverpool until end of season as he searches for regular football

BOURNEMOUTH have signed Liverpool defender Nat Phillips on loan until the end of the season.

The centre-back, 24, has struggled to break into the Reds’ first-team with any consistency this term, having shone a year ago.

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Nat Phillips has joined Bournemouth on loan from Liverpool until the end of the seasonCredit: Getty

Phillips was widely expected to quit the club this month – with Liverpool reported to have rejected a number of permanent bids in the region of £15m, instead favouring a short-term move.

And the Cherries have taken advantage by signing the out-of-favour defender on loan to help their promotion push.

A club statement confirmed: “AFC Bournemouth have signed centre-back Nat Phillips on loan from Liverpool until the end of the season.”

Phillips – son of ex-Bolton star Jimmy – has been at Liverpool since 2016-17.

He was loaned out to Stuttgart in the 2019-20 season, before taking on an unexpectedly big role under Jurgen Klopp last season.

With Liverpool suffering a major defensive crisis after serious injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez – Phillips forged an unlikely partnership with youngster Rhys Williams.

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He played 20 times last term and played a pivotal role in securing a top-four spot for Liverpool as the club went on a late, ten-game unbeaten run.

And while Phillips left fans’ jaws on the floor with an outrageous piece of skill against AC Milan in this season’s Champions League, he has been limited to mostly cup action.

In all, the centre-back – who signed a new, long-term contract in the summer – has played just three times so far in 2021-22.

Bournemouth currently sit third in the Championship, but can move into the automatic promotion places should they win their game in hand over second-placed Blackburn.

The Cherries already boast the tightest defence in the league – level with West Brom in conceding just 24 goals from their 28 matches this season.

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