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Nat Phillips ‘can’t rule out’ Cherries return after loan from Liverpool



DEFENDER Nat Phillips says he “can’t rule anything out” regarding his next move as his Cherries loan spell comes to an end, adding: “I’m so grateful that I made the decision to come here.”

Amid interest from various clubs during the January transfer window, including reportedly some in the Premier League, Phillips opted to leave Liverpool to join Cherries on loan until the end of the season.

And the 25-year-old played a key role, making 17 Championship appearances to help Scott Parker’s men over the line in clinching promotion to the top flight.

Reflecting on his time at Cherries and opting to join the club over other potential options, Phillips told the Daily Echo: “I’m so grateful that I made the decision to come here.

“I’ve enjoyed my time so much. It’s nice, one of the main reasons I came here was because we had that objective of promotion and something to play towards and it’s a great feeling to finish the season and achieve that.

“It’s been brilliant. I’ve loved every minute of it.

“It’s been a real challenge, don’t get me wrong and this division is relentless.

“There’s so many different styles and ways of teams playing and you’ve got to be prepared for the challenge every week. There’s probably a lot more Saturday-Tuesday fixtures as well.

“But I’ve enjoyed that challenge and I’ve enjoyed playing regular football.”

He added: “I want to continue playing regularly, week in, week out. Ideally in the Premier League.

“So we’ll see what happens in the summer.”

Unlike many of the other players Cherries brought in on loan this season, the Daily Echo understands there was no option for the club to buy Phillips included in the deal to bring him to Vitality Stadium from Liverpool.

Bolton-born Phillips signed a new deal with the Reds last summer, which is understood to run until 2025.

Asked if a return to Cherries could be on the cards next season, Phillips said: “I can’t rule anything out. But ultimately it comes down to, it’s not just me.

“There’s various conversations that need to be had involving Bournemouth, Liverpool and whoever.

“So up until now we’ve been concentrating on just getting the job at hand done.

“Now that’s done, obviously Liverpool still have a few games left and a few big, important games left in their season to play. But we’ll see what happens in the summer.”

Phillips enjoyed his big breakthrough at Liverpool last season, following a defensive injury crisis.

Having gained experience out on loan at VfB Stuttgart in 2020, Phillips was plunged into the Liverpool side and has now gone on to play 24 times for the first team, featuring in the Premier League, Champions League and domestic cups.

Liverpool are still chasing an unprecedented quadruple this season, having already won the Carabao Cup and booked their spots in the finals of both the FA Cup and Champions League.

Having won through in the semi-finals against Villarreal last Tuesday, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp ended his press conference by congratulating Phillips on securing promotion with Cherries that same night.

“He messaged me as well congratulating me, which was nice of him,” said Phillips.

“And obviously to see he’d mentioned me after their semi-final in the Champions League, it’s nice to know that he’s still watching and rooting for me, as I have been for the Liverpool boys in their games.”





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