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rising star 'He could save Liverpool a fortune' - John Aldridge on Jurgen Klopp's unsung hero

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Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool suffered a sixth successive home defeat on Sunday (Phil Noble/PA)

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool suffered a sixth successive home defeat on Sunday (Phil Noble/PA)

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool suffered a sixth successive home defeat on Sunday (Phil Noble/PA)

Liverpool goal scoring great John Aldridge believes the club may have unearthed a player who could save them a fortune in the transfer market, after he suggested Nat Phillips is proving he could have a big future at the club.

Phillips caught the eye once more as Liverpool eased into the Champions League quarter-finals with a 4-0 aggregate win against RB Leipzig, as he plugged the defensive gap created by injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been forced to play midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho in central defensive positions for much of this season, with Phillips emerging as the best of the club's back-up defensive options.

With Fabinho impressing as he moved back into midfield, Aldridge has told sundayworld.com that Phillips is a player who has earned the right to have a run in the team.

"He has not let Liverpool down in any game he has played and in circumstances like this, some players rise to the challenge and prove they are up to task," Aldo told us.

"Phillips is an old fashioned defender. No nonsense, gets the job done and he has dealt with everything that has come his way since he got his chance in the first team.

"He is outstanding in the air and that commanding presence has been lacking since Virgil van Dijk got injured, so he looks like a player who can save the club millions this summer.

"I'm sure Liverpool were looking at brining in two centre-backs this summer as Joel Matip and Joe Gomez are so injury prone and they can't allow themselves to be so exposed defensively as they have been this season.

"Yet the idea that the club might have to find the cash for two centre-backs was always going to push them financially, so Klopp might say he only needs one now with the way Phillips is playing."

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Liverpool defender Nathaniel Phillips will hope his performances mean manager Jurgen Klopp does not have to look for a transfer solution in defence (Peter Powell/PA)

Liverpool defender Nathaniel Phillips will hope his performances mean manager Jurgen Klopp does not have to look for a transfer solution in defence (Peter Powell/PA)

Liverpool defender Nathaniel Phillips will hope his performances mean manager Jurgen Klopp does not have to look for a transfer solution in defence (Peter Powell/PA)

Ozan Kabak is striving to prove he has what it takes to shine at Liverpool during his loan spell from Schalke, but Aldridge suggests he has been overshadowed by Phillips.

"The situation with Kabak is perfect for Liverpool because they can have a look at him and if he doesn't quite fit the bill, they don't have to sign him," he added.

"The jury is still out on Kabak at the moment, but I like what I see from Phillips and when Van Dijk comes back, he could be a useful player to have as one of the options to play alongside him."

John Aldridge will give his verdict on the two player Jurgen Klopp has to pick for the remaining games of his season in this weekend's Sunday World.

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