Axel Tuanzebe cancelled his loan spell at Aston Villa and joined Napoli for the rest of the season, leaving Steven Gerrard with only three centre-backs in the first-team – Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa and Kortney Hause.

Villa are expected to bring in another defender before the January transfer window ends, having been linked with Joe Gomez among others, but Kevin Campbell believes Nat Phillips should be considered.

The 24-year-old has made only four appearances in all competitions this season, spending the majority of the campaign on the bench or on the sidelines due to injury. Phillips is behind Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konaté and Joel Matip in the pecking order, so he might be loaned out this month.

Campbell told Football Insider: “Phillips is definitely a player who can go to Aston Villa and do his thing, it can definitely happen. Look, getting a centre-half through the door isn’t rocket science. You want them to be able to do their job, and you want them to fit in with the team seamlessly.

“Nat Phillips seems to be a good pro, so it may just work. Steven Gerrard knows him and knows Liverpool as well.” Phillips has made a total of 24 appearances for the Reds and has a contract until 2025, so he’s highly regarded despite this season being a disappointment.

A solid temporary stint at Villa could see him back in the reckoning at Anfield, so a loan would suit all parties. He’ll know Gerrard well too, so it may be an easier transition for Phillips than for other players.

In other news, some fans say ‘fantastic’ Emi Buendia is a ‘class’ player