Liverpool’s Nat Phillips admits he was “jealous” watching his teammates win the Premier League last season, but he is hoping to be involved in future successes.
Phillips has stepped into the breach to become the most unlikely of Liverpool cult heroes this season, with his display in the Champions League last-16 victory over RB Leipzig last week – his Champions League debut – earning rave reviews from fans.
The 23-year-old centre-back had appeared destined for the Anfield exit at the start of the season, but the club’s mounting injuries have seen him thrust into centre stage.
The Reds’ poor Premier League form means that imminent success isn’t likely, but Phillips – who spent last season on loan at Stuttgart – hopes he’s done enough to stick around at Anfield.
“When Liverpool officially won the league last season I was still in Germany,” said Phillips.
“I drove into the training ground blasting ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ from the car.
“I saw how much it meant to those guys, and it made me feel jealous.
“It made me realise that I wanted to feel something like that one day.”
Phillips impressed alongside Ozan Kabak against Leipzig in Budapest, and is expected to keep his place for the trip to Wolves on Monday.
“It was a massive night for me and my family,” he said of the Leipzig game.
“I never thought at the end of last year and the start of this year that I would be playing Champions League football.
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“I have kept the shirt that I wore and, when we are allowed to go out and about again, I will get it framed.
“But it is important to me that it does not become the biggest occasion or best game that I have ever played in.
“If you had asked me at the start of the season if I thought I was capable of playing in the Premier League, I would have said ‘Yeah’. But whether it was for Liverpool, I wasn’t sure.
“At a club like Liverpool you can never rest on your laurels.”