Liverpool’s latest injury setback could once again block the pathway for Nat Phillips to leave Anfield this summer.
With Liverpool no closer to a defensive signing, it could leave the club reluctant to allow Phillips to leave yet again in order to preserve centre-back options.
Phillips did travel with the squad for the pre-season tour of Germany but didn’t feature in any of the friendlies across the entire summer.
He started the Reds’ first home game of 2022/23 against Crystal Palace but has amassed just three minutes of Premier League football since, attracting interest from Leeds and Feyenoord in the meantime.
With less than a week of the transfer window remaining, no move has yet materialised and Phillips faces the prospect of another campaign sporadically deputising for the senior centre-backs.
Should Konate become a long-term absentee, it would leave Phillips and youngster Jarell Quansah behind just three centre-back specialists in a system that could feature three at the back for sustained periods of the season.
Virgil van Dijk’s hamstring injury last season placed Phillips in a similar position amid reports of interest from elsewhere in the January window.
The 26-year-old surprisingly signed a new four-year deal at Anfield after failing to secure a transfer away in the summer of 2021.
It came off the back of an impressive 2020/21 in which he was forced to stand in at the back due to a string of first-team defensive injuries.
There has been little noise regarding his potential departure in recent weeks and Konate’s injury could leave Liverpool needing to be more cautious with any forthcoming offers.
The extent of Konate’s latest injury remains to be seen, but the Reds are only a couple of additional casualties away from a crisis not too dissimilar to the 2020/21 season in which Phillips was so prominent.