Burnley are eyeing a summer swoop for Liverpool defender Nat Phillips, as Sean Dyche looks to strengthen his squad at Turf Moor.
Nat Phillips, 24, was in superb late-season form for Liverpool, becoming a key figure for Jurgen Klopp’s side amid their injury crisis. He stepped up to the plate in the absence of first-choice central defenders like Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip and enjoyed a fine breakthrough campaign.
The Englishman finished with 20 appearances across all competitions, contributing with a goal and an assist for the Reds. In fact, Nat Phillips scored a crucial goal in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Burnley on the final day of the 2020/21 season that helped Klopp’s side clinch a third-place finish.
However, Klopp is now set to welcome back all his regular central defenders and has also recently added Ibrahima Konate to the squad, Phillips’ future at Anfield has been put in doubt heading into the new campaign. And with some Premier League experience under his belt, Phillips could opt to move on.
In addition to Burnley, Newcastle United are also interested in the 24-year-old defender, who could be available in the region of £10 million.
Sean Dyche keen to strengthen his defensive options at Turf Moor
Burnley had a very poor campaign and just managed to escape from the jaws of relegation. Despite that, the Clarets are, once again, able to prepare for another year in the Premier League. Massive credit to Sean Dyche for the work he’s done on a shoe-string budget at Turf Moor to date.
However, Burnley desperately need some quality signings to avoid another poor season. Having shipped in 55 goals in the league campaign, Sean Dyche is right to prioritise solving his team’s defensive problems.
The partnership of James Tarkowski and Ben Mee at the heart of defence didn’t work well, leaving the Clarets often exposed. Plus, the Lancashire-based outfit lack quality beyond Tarkowski and Mee at centre-back, with Kevin Long not up to the standard to play week in, week out in the English top-flight.
Nat Phillips could be a smart signing for Burnley
To put things plainly, Burnley need a young, robust central defender who could come in and make an instant impact at Turf Moor. Nat Phillips, in that regard, could be that player for Sean Dyche’s side.
From being on the periphery to one of the impressive performers in the second half of the 2020/21 campaign for Liverpool, Phillips rightly is attracting interest from top-flight clubs. The 24-year-old Englishman has proven that he has what it takes to be a Premier League regular. However, he still needs to add a lot more to his game to develop into a top centre-half.
Phillips would fit into Dyche’s team that lacked a young and powerful presence at the heart of the defence in the recently concluded season. Phillips is 24 years old and can hone his skills under the tutelage of Dyche. The former Stuttgart man would improve the Clarets’ options at the back, whilst bringing in much-needed competition within Dyche’s ranks.
Burnley won’t have to break the bank for Phillips and the English centre-back would represent a smart long-term investment at Turf Moor.