Premier League leaders Liverpool have this afternoon confirmed that they have reached an agreement with Stuttgart to recall on-loan defender Nathaniel Phillips to the club next month.
Phillips, a 22-year-old stopper, has been on the books of the Reds since 2016.
After opting to depart Bolton’s youth setup, the then-free agent was snapped up by the Merseyside giants, and assigned to the club’s academy.
The seasons that followed saw Phillips impress those in charge at Anfield, eventually resulting in Jurgen Klopp opting to call the Englishman up to train with his senior squad in the summer of 2018.
Phillips continued to develop with Liverpool’s reserves over the course of the campaign, but struggled for first-team opportunities.
He was, though, actually an unused member of the Reds’ Champions League final squad last season.
With a quartet of central-defenders still firmly ahead of Phillips in the pecking order of Jurgen Klopp ahead of the current campaign, however, it was decided than a loan spell away from Anfield would best serve the 22-year-old’s development.
As such, Phillips was farmed out to German 2nd division outfit Stuttgart during the summer.
The former Bolton man had since managed 11 appearances across all competitions for the former Bundesliga giants.
However, as outlined above, Phillips is now set for an imminent return to his parent club.
As confirmed across Liverpool’s social media platforms this afternoon, they have opted to recall their on-loan stopper from his spell at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Phillips will move back to Anfield upon the opening of the January transfer window, and will be eligible to feature as part of the club’s first-team setup immediately.
We have reached an agreement with Stuttgart for Nat Phillips to return from his loan spell in January.
Phillips will return at the beginning of next month and be eligible for Reds matches, starting with the FA Cup tie against Everton.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 27, 2019
This comes amid a defensive injury crisis at Liverpool.
As things stand, the European champions are without both Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip, with Fabinho, who can act as cover at centre-half, also sidelined.