NAT PHILLIPS has almost certainly kicked his last ball for Celtic and will be on his way back to Liverpool when his short-term loan deal expires next month.
The 26-year-old central defender was overlooked by Brendan Rodgers for the 2-1 Champions League midweek win over Feyenoord at Parkhead with Stephen Welsh making his comeback after a four-month absence with an ankle injury.
Cameron Carter-Vickers missed out against the Dutch with a hamstring problem, but there was still no place for the Anfield recruit who agreed a temporary switch in August.
TAKE IT AS RED…loan Bhoy Nat Phillips is heading back to Liverpool.
Phillips answered an SOS in the summer when Rodgers was hit with injuries to Carter-Vickers, Welsh and Maik Nawrocki, the champions’ £4.3million purchase from Legia Warsaw.
Gustaf Lagerbielke also had difficulties getting up to speed, but the Swede still got the nod to replace the tiring Welsh against the Rotterdam outfit.
And the returning defender marked the memorable occasion with the stoppage-time winner.
Phillips’ last outing for the Hoops may turn out to be Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park where he endured a torrid second-half.
The Englishman could be seen as surplus to requirements at Parkhead with the full complement of centre-backs – including the resurgent Liam Scales – now available to Rodgers for the first time since he returned in June.
Phillips made eight appearances during his brief stay with Celtic, but it looks as though his future lies elsewhere.