Newcastle linked with Nathaniel Phillips: Good move for Eddie Howe?

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According to a recent report by The Telegraph, Newcastle United are interested to sign Liverpool defender Nathaniel Phillips in the January transfer window.

Newcastle recent were taken over by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. But on the pitch, the performances have been disappointing. Newcastle United currently are dead bottom of the Premier League table, picking up just seven points from their 14 league games.

New manager Eddie Howe has also failed to deliver the club’s first win of the season. Eddie Howe and Newcastle have identified that the defence needs reinforcement in the January transfer window. Following this, they are eyeing a move for Liverpool centre-half Nathaniel Phillips who has struggled for game time this season.

Liverpool in the last season had an injury crisis at that back. Nathaniel Phillips took his opportunity when called upon by Jurgen Klopp. Phillips made 20 appearances in all competitions last term and recorded one goal and one assist in this time.

This term with the return of Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip back from injury and Liverpool summer signing Ibrahima Konaté added to the defensive ranks. Phillips has found it difficult this term to get game time. He has only made two appearances all season and played just 46 minutes of football.

Is Nathaniel Phillips the perfect option for Eddie Howe and Newcastle?

Newcastle United has the worse defensive record in the league. They have already conceded 30 goals this league term. Eddie Howe has hence identified Nathaniel Phillips as the defensive reinforcement which he wants in the January transfer window.

The centre-half averaged 1.3 tackles, 1.2 interceptions per game in the Premier League last term. On top of that, he managed 4.8 clearances per game in the league last season. (stats via whoscored)

On top of that standing at 1.90m tall, Phillips is dominant in the air in both boxes. He has a good ability to sniff out danger in his half. Last season at times he even showed his ability to play out from the back.

Liverpool have reportedly placed a £15m price tag on the 24-year-old centre half. Nathaniel would no doubt add quality to the Newcastle backline. He could very well be the answer to the problems at the back for Eddie Howe. The Magpies are very well in a relegation battle and need to fix the problems at the back to avoid the drop.

The deal seems good for both the clubs and the player. Liverpool will bring in a good fee by selling the centre half and Phillips can finally get the game time he has been craving this season.

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