'He played an outstanding pre-season' - How an ex-Ireland defender discovered one of Liverpool's top prospects
Jurgen Klopp has been raving about one of Liverpool's young centre backs after a strong pre-season campaign - and he can thank ex-Ireland international Andy O'Brien for getting him to Anfield.
21-year-old Nat Phillips caught the eye of Liverpool's manager after an accomplished display in last night's pre-season finale against Torino, which the Reds won 3-1.
Speaking after the game, Klopp talked about how Phillips took a big leap forward over the summer.
"Nat Phillips has played an outstanding pre-season," he said
"It is really nice to see how he developed. I really liked his pre-season. It was really strong and proved a lot - that was cool."
If Phillips continues his development and breaks into the Liverpool team, fans can thank former Ireland defender Andy O'Brien for his discovery. The former Newcastle and Bolton defender is now a highly regarded Liverpool scout, and according to the Liverpool Echo, recommended that the club take a look at Phillips when the defender was about to move to America to take a football scholarship with a university in 2016.
The former Bolton defender impressed coaches at Liverpool's academy enough to offer him a contract, and now he is making an impression on Jurgen Klopp just days away from the start of the 2018/19 season.