Their aggressive approach in this window has seen them sign the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Diego Carlos, Boubacar Kamara and Robin Olsen, and it does seem as though they will stop there.
The news comes directly from a recruitment source via Football Insider, who state that Phillips has a “huge admirer” in Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, whilst West Ham United are also said to have tabled a bid for the England international.
A bid for “monster” Phillips represents serious intent from Gerrard and co, who may be able secure their own version of Liverpool’s Fabinho.
By that comparison, they would bag themselves a defensive-minded string-puller in the heart of the engine room to help in their quest to establish more possession of the ball.
Last season, the Villans averaged 46.4% possession, a metric that places them in 14th place compared to the rest of the Premier League. At Rangers during the 20/21 season, Gerrard’s side averaged 65.7% – which is a percentage that he will surely be hoping to achieve at Villa Park.
Phillips would not just bolster possession though, he would help to stabilise the side defensively, just like Fabinho.
The England international has knocked up some slightly better defensive numbers than the Brazilian this season, with an average of 3.67 tackles per 90, with 1.52 of these in the defensive third and 1.86 in the mid third, he is willing to sit deep and provide cover for his fellow midfield colleagues.
Fabinho, on the other hand, averages around 2.62 tackles per game with 1.48 of these coming in the mid-third of the pitch and just 0.71 achieved in the defensive third. Whilst this is a consequence of Klopp’s high-line-playing side, Fabinho provides a similar service to Phillips.
Gerrard has the perfect opportunity to take influence from Klopp and implement a positionally and statistically similar player within his midfield.