Should Liverpool be selling injury-prone Matip instead of Phillips for £15m?
Liverpool have placed a £15million price tag on defender Nat Phillips amid interest from a host of Premier League clubs.
The 24-year-old was due to spend the 2020-21 season on loan at a Championship side before injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip paved the way for his promotion to the first-team.
This catalogue of centre-back absentees allowed Phillips to register 20 appearances for the Reds in all competitions as he eventually became the club's most reliable player in that position towards the end of the campaign.
However, with the return of the injured players next season, alongside the addition of £36m man Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig, Phillips would struggle to find a place in Jurgen Klopp's team.
Therefore, according to The Athletic, a £15m price tag has been placed on the former Stuttgart player as Liverpool look to use the money to strengthen in other areas.
One of several interested clubs is Burnley, where Phillips could provide competition for regulars James Tarkowski and Ben Mee.
Why sell Phillips over Matip?
At a time of crisis, it was 24-year-old Phillips that stepped up when Liverpool needed him most.
Whereas, Matip's persistent injury struggles ruled him out of solving his team's predicament, as has so often been the case.
Klopp on Nat Phillips: "Probably the best heading stats in the history of the Premier League! It's unbelievable what that boy is doing."— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) April 17, 2021
And with new signing Konate arriving with a reputation for being injury-prone, and two players recovering from long-term ACL setbacks, one would assume that keeping the more reliable fourth choice defender makes perfect sense.
In addition to that, Phillips would surely take no issue with a prolonged spell on the sidelines next campaign, and earns significantly less wages than his Cameroonian counterpart.
Yet the deciding factor may well be that there's no market for a 29-year-old Matip, but the sale of Alberto Moreno years ago should prove that there's always a team willing to take a punt on an ex-Liverpool player.
That said, it seems Jurgen Klopp's mind is made up on taking a gamble for the sake of £15m, one which could help to sign a more influential player such as Florian Neuhaus, whom Liverpool are apparently interested in.
But, that could prove extremely costly in the event of another injury crisis at the back.