An update has emerged regarding Newcastle United’s January transfer plans for Nathaniel Phillips…
According to The Telegraph, the Liverpool defender is a player the Magpies are aware of and considering as they look to strengthen their squad in the coming weeks.
The report claims that Tottenham’s Joe Rodon and Sevilla’s Diego Carlos are also targets, with the latter said to be keen on a move to St James’ Park.
Eddie Howe could land a big upgrade on Ciaran Clark by securing a deal to sign Phillips this month, and it is one that has been a long time coming for the Toon.
Newcastle 4-3 Norwich September 2016, Newcastle 1-1 Norwich November 2021 – what do these two fixtures have in common aside from the opposition? The answer… both games started with Clark playing in the heart of the defence, with the defender being shown a red card in the most recent match.
It is also worth mentioning that Karl Darlow, Matt Ritchie, Jamaal Lascelles, Paul Dummett, Dwight Gayle and Jonjo Shelvey all started the aforementioned game in 2016 and remain at St James’ Park to this day, whilst Isaac Hayden was also on the bench. Meanwhile, Norwich’s third-choice goalkeeper Michael McGovern is the only survivor from their line-up.
Football moves quickly, and Clark is simply not good enough for where Newcastle want to be. He has started 12 games this season out of 20 and averaged a horrific SofaScore rating of 6.27, highlighting how poorly he has performed and why Howe needs an upgrade in that position.
On the other hand, Phillips was sublime for Liverpool in the Premier League last season, with Jurgen Klopp hailing him as “incredible” and a “monster” for his impressive displays. He averaged an excellent SofaScore rating of 7.19 across 17 appearances, winning 61% of his duels and making 4.8 clearances per match.
This shows that the 24-year-old has the quality to deliver consistently brilliant performances in the top flight, proving his worth in one of the best teams in the country. Therefore, he could be a big upgrade on Clark, who has struggled badly and looks out of his depth at this level.
The £7.2m-rated Liverpool beast could come in and hit the ground running on Tyneside, as he knows how to perform at Premier League level. This means that he could be an instant success and improve Newcastle’s chances of avoiding the drop at the end of the season.