Liverpool centre-back Nathaniel Phillips has revealed his plan to improve over the summer in a bid to continue his role under Jurgen Klopp.
The 24-year-old has enjoyed a whirlwind campaign that has seen him become an unlikely club cult hero. Last summer, he featured on the Reds’ free-to-go transfer list, with interest arriving. However, amid injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip, he made his Premier League debut in October.
But his journey has got better and better since; another injury to Joe Gomez meant he became a central figure in Liverpool boss Klopp’s team for the second half of the season.
Phillips has nevertheless taken the challenge in his stride, scoring a header in the 3-0 win over Burnley that helped lead his side to an unlikely top-four spot.
Despite his rise, his future could be uncertain this summer; Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip will all be back for next season while Liverpool also have another defensive signing on their radar.
Although, Phillips says that he plans to give Klopp a selection headache by improving over the summer.
Speaking to LFCTV, the Englishman said: “Don’t get me wrong, even though I feel like this season’s been successful for me, I know that I’ve got plenty to work on and plenty to improve on.
“That’s what I’ll be doing in the off-season, I’ll have a little break and then get back to training on my own and work on things maybe you don’t get the opportunity to during the season, because it’s so intense.
“So I’ll be doing that and hopefully have a strong pre-season, just continue to develop and build on what I’ve done so far this year.”
Asked if he wants to fight for his place next season, Phillips added: “Yes, certainly.”
Alexander-Arnold makes Liverpool admission
Right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is another Liverpool player who has improved as the season has gone on.
He started brightly, but much like his team-mates, he dropped off. As a result, he fell out of the England squad for the most recent international break.
However, he has bounced back from the omission in stellar form. He has now opened up on the debates had by pundits over his performances.