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John Aldridge says Liverpool have a truly 'terrific' talent in their ranks

Liverpool legend John Aldridge has praised Reds defender Nathaniel Phillips following his impressive first-team breakthrough this season.

The 24-year-old began the season as a fringe player at best, but Jurgen Klopp drafted him into first-team action amid a crisis at centre-back.

Phillips has grown into the role, putting in a number of great performances over the past few months, and has helped Liverpool seal Champions League qualification.

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Liverpool won eight and drew two of their last 10 Premier League games of the season, and Phillips played the full 90 minutes in all eight of their wins.

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The 6ft 3in ace is on a contract until 2023, according to Transfermarkt, and earning a reported £64,615-a-week, but Aldridge reckons he deserves a new deal.

“I think Phillips deserves a contract at Liverpool,” Aldridge wrote in the Liverpool Echo.

“He knows that he might only be a squad player, probably, but there will be good game time for him and he deserves it.

“Who knows in the future what’s going to happen with him, but he’s been terrific.

“In a normal season it wouldn’t happened for him. In the first couple of games he made one or two errors, you don’t normally get a second chance.

“But because the manager had no choice but to stick with him, he got better and better and better. In both boxes he’s a massive force, he doesn’t miss a header.

“You could call on him alongside Van Dijk in most games, so it’s worked out well and I’m delighted for him.”

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It’s been a hellish season for Liverpool, but all’s well that ends well as the Reds have managed to secure themselves a top-four spot.

And Phillips has definitely stepped up to the plate when called upon, improving as the season went on, so Klopp should look to reward him for this season with a new deal.

Obviously if Phillips decides to move on in search of first-team football, that’s a different matter, but he’s certainly got plenty to offer even once Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are back.

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