Liverpool legend John Barnes backs centre back Nat Phillips to move on amid Burnley speculation

Liverpool legend John Barnes would have “nothing but respect” for Reds centre back Nat Phillips if he decided to leave Anfield for more regular games time, amid speculation linking him with a summer switch to Burnley.
Nat Phillips celebrates scoring against BurnleyNat Phillips celebrates scoring against Burnley
Nat Phillips celebrates scoring against Burnley

Barnes has been speaking to regarding whether Phillips has a future on Merseyside after a season where he emerged as a surprise hero, helping Liverpool finish third and achieve a Champions League berth.

Phillips made 20 appearances, scoring once in a 3-0 win over the Clarets at Turf Moor in May, but will drop down the pecking order as long term injury victims Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matic return, while Jurgen Klopp has added to his options with the £36m signing of France Under 21 international Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig.

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Many observers have suggested that Phillips would be an ideal fit for Burnley, should Phillips move while his stock is high, and Barnes said: “First of all he’s done a fantastic job for the club, but once Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip return from injury, then he’s not going to get into the side ahead of them.

”So it’s not a question of whether he’s deserving of a place, it’s a question of if he wants it.

“Of course at his age now he will want to be playing regularly, and I have so much admiration for players who want to play, even if that entails taking a step down.

”What’s the point of staying at a club if you’re not going to play? He’s 24 years old.

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“His stock has gone up and if you’re saying that he’s available for £10 million, then you’d have thought that nobody would have been thinking of Nat Phillips as a £10 million player six months ago.

”It’s all down to whether Nat feels happy at Liverpool, and if he feels happy being part of a squad where he plays every now and again, or whether he wants to play regularly.

“From my perspective, I’d always choose to play every week and play regularly, and if he chooses to follow the same path then I’d have nothing but respect for him.”

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