Sadio Mane doesn’t want people forgetting how key Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams were last season. The Liverpool star made a point to praise his teammates this week.
Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez are back at Liverpool after months and months of rehabilitation. The Reds finally have their first-choice defence back and it’s already proving successful.
Liverpool kept clean sheets in their two opening Premier League games before conceding once to Chelsea on Saturday. They’ve looked solid, despite Van Dijk and Matip clearly not being 100% just yet.
It’s some Sadio Mane is certainly happy about.
“Obviously it was a big blow for us missing not only Virgil but also Joel and Joe Gomez last year,” he said, per Liverpoolfc.com. “If you have these kinds of players in your team and you’re missing them, then for sure you will feel it. I think any club in this world would feel the same.
“Now we are really happy to have them back and it’s been a good start to the season with these names on the backs of the shirts behind me!”
But while there’s reason to cheer for the returning stars, Mane also wanted to highlight two players – Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams.
“But we should also remember that the young lads like Nat and Rhys who came in to deputise for these players last season did a great job too,” said Mane.
Mane praises Phillips and Williams
It’s great to see the duo still getting recognition for their efforts last season. Liverpool wouldn’t be in the Champions League this season if they hadn’t stepped up to reach unforeseen levels.
Neither had played top-flight football before that campaign, yet they partnered one another to a third-place finish in the Premier League. It’s truly remarkable and, in our opinion, still underappreciated outside of LFC.
But as Mane shows, they’re certainly appreciated at Anfield. Phillips and Williams performed a minor miracle and earned themselves Red futures in the process.