Perhaps the surprise emergence from the season so far, Liverpool centre-back Nat Phillips has insisted he has ‘plenty more to do’ as he alters his career ambitions following a breakthrough season.
Having spent the 2019/20 campaign on loan with then German second-tier side Stuttgart, there might’ve been many who expected the 23-year-old to head out on loan once again prior to this campaign.
However, the Bolton-born centre-back stayed on Merseyside and Jurgen Klopp will no doubt be eternally grateful that he did, as his squad suffered a remarkable amount of defensive injuries, thrusting Phillips into the limelight.
Partnered alongside Ozan Kabak as the Reds cruised past RB Leipzig 2-0 last week, Phillips was outstanding and his performance brought about an outpouring of love from Kopites on social media.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Liverpool’s newest cult hero said he wasn’t done yet:
“I always felt I’d be able to play in a Premier League game and do a job. That’s just the way I have approached it – and continue to,”
“I don’t look too far ahead. I just crack on with working on myself and improving the things that I can get better at, to get where I want to get to.
“As I have progressed, my ambitions have changed over the past year. Premier League football was something I saw as an ambition. Then I was asked about Champions League football earlier in the season. Not many players get the chance to experience it and you have to earn that right.
“At a club like Liverpool you can never rest on your laurels and think, ‘I am safe now.’ It doesn’t work like that. Circumstances have dictated it, but I still have plenty more to do. In terms of me and my ambitions, they are always changing.”
Phillips has now made 10 appearances in all competitions this season and is in line to face Wolves tonight as Klopp’s side look to resurrect their previously dwindling top-four hopes.
Almost out of nowhere Phillips has played himself into contention for a squad role next season and could well find himself as one of the central defensive options.
What role that is will remain a bone of contention throughout the summer transfer window, with the Reds likely look to further bolster their ranks, Phillips will be desperate to ensure he is part of the plans.