Nathaniel Phillips has signed a long-term contract with Liverpool and immediately joined Stuttgart on a season-long loan.
The 22-year-old defender has not yet made a senior competitive appearance for the Reds but was part of Jurgen Klopp’s squad for the pre-season tour of the United States with the German short of available centre-backs.
Phillips, who joined the club in 2016 having previously been at Bolton, will spend the campaign in the German second division with Stuttgart.
Speaking on vfb.de, Phillips said: “I’m delighted to be here. VfB is a club steeped in tradition and I want to play a part in making sure that we make it back into the Bundesliga.”
Stuttgart were relegated from the Bundesliga at the end of last season after finishing 16th and then losing a play-off against Union Berlin.
Sporting director Sven Mislintat added: “In Nathaniel Phillips we are signing a young English central defender who was on the cusp of breaking into Liverpool’s first-team squad last year.
“That did not quite come about for him due to the incredible competition in that position and also the fact that he suffered an injury, but this has given us the opportunity to get Nathaniel on loan for the season.
“We’re convinced that he has everything it takes to fill the void left by Marcin Kaminski’s injury and (will) very soon be able to play an important role in central defence.”
Phillips’ fellow centre-back George Johnston has left Liverpool on a permanent transfer, moving to Dutch club Feyenoord. The 20-year-old had been with Liverpool since the age of nine.