Shock as Jurgen Klopp compares Liverpool ‘mad’ man to Lewandowski – .

Shock as Jurgen Klopp compares Liverpool ‘mad’ man to Lewandowski – .

Jurgen Klopp said he enjoyed watching Nathaniel Phillips’ remarkable development at Liverpool and even put the defender in a range similar to Robert Lewandowski.
Klopp has worked with and developed some of the best players in the world during his coaching career. Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski is the hallmark of the pair’s time at Borussia Dortmund.

At Liverpool, meanwhile, Mohamed Salah has become one of the best players in the world.

However, Klopp insisted that center-back Phillips deserves serious mention. The 24-year-old has largely been a fringe player who has had loan spells during the manager’s time at Anfield.

But he shot in the spotlight last season following Liverpool’s defensive injury crisis. Indeed, after making his Premier League debut last October, he has continued to play a crucial role in the squad.

Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez have all returned to form this season. But while Phillips has so still struggled for playing time, Klopp will never forget his history as a player.

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

“It’s probably true, but close by is Nat Phillips, just in a completely different department.

“I remember when I first saw Nat Phillips, I spoke to him after the game and he’s one of the smartest players I’ve ever worked with. I said to her, ‘You know you’re not the nicest looking, do you?’

“He’s improved in just about everything since then, and he’s not playing. Sometimes life isn’t fair and I can’t blame it.

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Liverpool duly rewarded Phillips with a new contract in summer. Nonetheless, with his playing time declining again this season, he has had transfer links with a move away, including in Newcastle.

Klopp admitted the center-back could leave in January, but insisted he would take him back if he had watched his trip from elsewhere.

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“We can’t keep it forever, that’s clear,” Klopp said. “We needed him, just to be safe, during this semester we’ll see what’s going on in the window. He was doing it well because he’s a big one.

“Its evolution is absolutely crazy. You saw it last year, you would have said ‘Nat Phillips, oh my god, does he play in the last row?’

“People love him because of his steering, but with his feet he’s amazing.

“He’s a late starter, but his development is incredible. I would sign him for any club except Liverpool, because we have him.

Phillips has only played twice for the Reds this term, once in the Carabao Cup before a Champions League outing against Atletico Madrid.


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