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'We could see that': Klopp says rarely used Liverpool ace is in 'incredible shape' now
Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

'We could see that': Klopp says rarely used Liverpool ace is in 'incredible shape' now

Photo by Tomas Sisk / Photo News

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp made a whole host of changes against Preston last night but Nat Phillips still couldn’t get into the starting lineup.

The 24-year-old made his mark in the Reds’ first team last season due to injuries to the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez. He impressed last term, but with everyone back fit now, game time has been hard to come by.

Phillips was given his first senior opportunity of the season in the second half last night. He replaced Matip after the break and Klopp has explained why he decided to bring him on.

Klopp: Nat Phillips is in incredible shape

Matip going off at the break was concerning to some Liverpool fans who feared another injury. However, Klopp confirmed that the ex-Schalke man is fine and bringing Phillips on was always the plan.

He said, as per Liverpool’s official website: “Nat played really well.

“Joel is not injured. It was just clear we wanted him to play 45 minutes [so] that he can keep the rhythm – Joel needs these kind of things.

“It was clear as well that Nat Phillips will come on because we just have to let him out because he’s in incredible shape, is training really well – and I think we could see that.

“He’s a top-class centre-half and that’s really good to see.”

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Does Phillips have a future at Liverpool?

Every Liverpool fan will agree that Phillips is a talented centre-half who has the quality to make a name for himself at the top level. However, his chances of nailing down a spot in the senior side look slim.

Klopp currently has van Dijk, Matip, Gomez and Ibrahima Konate ahead of Phillips in the pecking order. Unless two of the above four depart, the 24-year-old will struggle for game time, which is a shame.

However, Phillips still has over three years left on his contract and Klopp clearly likes him. A loan spell in January could do him a world of good, but whether Liverpool will let him leave in the winter window is unclear at the moment.

Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
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