Paul Jewell has warned Nat Phillips may have to leave Liverpool in order to reach the same heights as last season.
Phillips, who joined the Reds in 2016 having originally come through the ranks at Bolton Wanderers, got his first taste of regular Premier League football when he was thrown into Jurgen Klopp’s side last term.
The central defender made 20 appearances in all competitions as he played a key role in helping Liverpool overcome their defensive crisis.
Although Manchester City comfortably clinched the title, Phillips’ fine performances have resulted in interest from Brighton & Hove Albion, Southampton, Newcastle United and Burnley.
With van Dijk and Gomez back in the fold, former Premier League manager Jewell believes 24-year-old Phillips should depart Anfield in a bid to build on his promising campaign.
Jewell, who came through the ranks at Liverpool during his playing days, exclusively told Football FanCast: “I would imagine that once you’ve had the taste of playing at the top level, you want to play week in, week out, whether that’s for Liverpool or not.
“There’s nothing quite like playing and I’m sure Nat Phillips doesn’t want to go back to playing in League Cup and FA Cup games five or six times a season.
“That’s the problem you have when you give players a chance – the hunger and taste for it is there now.”