Liverpool defender Phillips has shown improvement similar to Lewandowski, claims Klopp

Jurgen Klopp has heaped praise on Nat Phillips, a player he claims has improved as much as anyone he's ever coached - even Robert Lewandowski.

Phillips played a major role for Liverpool last term as injuries struck the club's defence, but has hardly featured at all this season.

Klopp has admitted Phillips does not deserve that fate and hinted he could leave the club in the January transfer window.

What was said?

"I have to mention Nat Phillips," Klopp said. "People often ask me which player made the biggest improvements under my leadership, and I say Robert Lewandowski.

"That’s probably right, but not far off that is Nat Phillips, just in a completely different department.

"I remember when I saw Nat Phillips first. I spoke to him after the game and he’s one of the smartest players I ever worked with. I told him, ‘You know you are not the easiest on the eye, eh?’

"He improved in pretty much everything since, and he’s not playing. Life is sometimes not fair and I can’t blame him.

"We cannot keep him forever, that’s clear. We needed him, just to be safe, for that half-year. We will see what happens in the window. He was fine doing it because he’s a great guy.

"His development is absolutely insane. You saw it last year, you would have said ‘Nat Phillips, oh my god, he plays in the last line?’

"People love him because of his heading but with his feet he is unbelievable. He’s a late starter, but his development is unbelievable. I would sign him for any club except Liverpool, because we have him."

Phillips' rise at Anfield

Phillips came through Liverpool's academy and spent the 2019-20 season on loan with Stuttgart in 2. Bundesliga.

He wasn't expected to feature much for Liverpool last term, but injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and others forced him into a prominent role.

Phillips impressed for Liverpool last season while making 20 appearances in all competitions, but the return to health of many key defenders, plus the signing of Ibrahima Konate, has seen him reduced to just three appearances in 2021-22.

The 24-year-old has been linked with a move away from Anfield, with several Premier League clubs reported to be keen on his services.

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