Southampton will be looking to add a centre-back to their squad following Jannik Vestergaard’s departure, but it seems as if Nat Phillips isn’t an option for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side this summer.
The Liverpool defender, who enjoyed a run in Jurgen Klopp’s side last season due to the injuries suffered by Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomes and Joel Matip, has been touted as a potential option for the Saints this summer.
However, in a recent article for Hampshire Live, journalist Tom Leach has seemingly rubbished any chance of Southampton bringing the 24-year-old to St Mary’s, writing:
“Liverpool defender Nat Phillips is a reported transfer target but is not thought to be an option Saints are considering at this present time.”
Hasenhuttl has just Jan Bednarek, Mohammed Salisu and Jack Stephens as senior centre-back options in his squad following Vestergaard’s move to Leicester City earlier this week, and if their opening day defeat against Everton is anything to go by, the Austrian desperately needs another option at the back before the transfer window shuts.
Considering the aerial prowess that Vestergaard offered Southampton last season, signing Phillips as his replacement would have made a lot of sense, given that the 24-year-old averaged a superb 5.6 aerials won per game last season for Liverpool, with Klopp labelling him a “monster in the air” after his Premier League debut against West Ham.
At just 24-year-old, the £7.2m-rated Englishman has plenty of time to improve and would fit Hasenhuttl’s mantra of signing younger players, whilst he also offers Champions League experience having featured heavily at the back for Klopp in last season’s campaign.
Therefore, it seems strange that Southampton seemingly aren’t considering the Liverpool man, as he looks unlikely to feature regularly this season unless the Reds suffer another injury crisis, given that they have also added Ibrahima Konate to their squad, which suggests that he could be available at a cut-price.
Therefore, Southampton fans may well be disappointed to hear Leach’s latest update on the powerful centre-back, as he could’ve been an excellent addition the squad.
And, in other news… Lost possession 23x: Saints ace disappointed vs Everton at Goodison Park