Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock has praised the performance of young defender Nat Phillips during their win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League.
Given Liverpool’s recent form domestically, it was certainly no guarantee that Jürgen Klopp’s men were going to come through the second leg, so a top display from everyone was going to be required, and the 23-year-old defender provided that at the back. He won two aerial duels and won three tackles on top of five clearances to give him an overall WhoScored rating of 7.07, which was only just second to Andy Robertson amongst the Liverpool back five on the night.
And as heard on the BBC 5 Live Football Daily podcast, Warnock praised the defender for his efforts not just on the night, but throughout the whole campaign.
He said: “Nat Phillips was outstanding, I thought everything that came into the box aerially he went and won, he was committed towards it. Low down, I thought he stepped in and challenged for every single ball, he didn’t give the forwards a minute’s peace.
“I think he’s been really, really positive. He’s been one of the positive players this season for Liverpool, even though they’ve been poor.”
Do you think Phillips should be Liverpool's first-choice defender?
TIF Thoughts on Stephen Warnock’s comments about Nat Phillips…
It’s been no secret that Liverpool haven’t been the same this season, with their constant problems at the back one of the key reasons, forcing numerous chops and changes to how they line up.
But Warnock is right to highlight the impact that Phillips has made throughout the season. He currently ranks 7th out of the whole squad when it comes to his WhoScored rating, but has only got ten appearances in the first team to show for it and has very rarely got a true run of games under his belt.
His display last night should hopefully give Klopp something to think about, because with ‘backup’ centre-back options like Jordan Henderson still set for some time out of the team, now might be the time for Phillips to prove himself for more than just the odd game, and maybe even make his way into the reckoning for next season.