Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

'Heart like a lion': Pep Lijnders heaps praise on Nat Phillips

Liverpool have had a downright ridiculous season. The campaign has thrown up circumstances and lineups we could never have imagined back in the summer. One of the term’s success stories has been the form of an academy graduate. Pep Lijnders has heaped praise on Nat Phillips, saying he has the heart of a lion.

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Nat Phillips steps up

By November last year we’d lost our starting centre back partnership until the 2021-22 campaign.

Virgil van Dijk ruptured his ACL in the Merseyside Derby in October and a few weeks later Joe Gomez picked up a similar injury in England training.

Rhys Williams was the first one called up but Nat Phillips was soon involved too.

The 24-year-old has now made 10 appearances in the Premier League, a stat unimaginable before the start of the season.

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He has thoroughly impressed in these games, earning a WhoScored rating of 6.96.

Pep Lijnders on Nat Phillips

The progress of the defender has surprised and delighted fans and coaches alike.

The centre back was tipped for a move to Swansea City before the start of the season and here is now an immovable part of the defence, set to take on Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Pep Lijnders has praised Nat Phillips for his attitude, telling the official club site:

“Nathaniel is an example where determination and respect can bring you, and an example how collectively this team and staff is working.

“He puts his head where other players don’t put their feet. He has a heart like a lion. Probably if I need to survive in a jungle, the first two people I’d choose are Nathaniel and Millie!

“It’s not the first time this will happen in our club and not the last, for sure. The passion, the ambition, the love for the game will always make or break you.”

What RTK has to say

Pep Lijnders will be as delighted as anybody with Nat Phillips.

The Dutchman must be taking great pride in the progress the Bolton Baresi has made.

Just what the future holds for the centre back is anybody’s guess; with the impending arrival of Ibrahima Konate and the form of Ozan Kabak, there’s no telling just who will still be at the club next season.

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