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.
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.”
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.