It has been quite a year for Kalvin Phillips at Leeds United, hasn’t it?
One of a plethora of players who have benefited from chairman Andrea Radrizzani’s decision to appoint Marcelo Bielsa as the Whites’ manager last summer, the 23-year-old has taken his game to new heights in recent months.
A fantastic midfielder who has an eye for a pass as well as tackle, Phillips was undeniably one of the main reasons for why Leeds were able to secure a third-place finish in the Championship during the 2018/19 campaign.
Yet despite delivering two outstanding individual performances in the play-offs against Derby County, he was ultimately powerless to stop his side from crashing out of the competition last Wednesday.
With Leeds facing another season in the second tier, it is clear that in order to be competitive, they must do everything they can to convince Phillips to stay at Elland Road. Indeed, losing the midfielder could prove to be very costly as his defensive contributions were priceless this season and it would be almost impossible to find a midfielder like the Englishman who has the ability to fit in at the heart of the defence as well.
The middle of midfield is such a key position as everything goes through Phillips, with attacks often being started, opposition attacks being halted and he also chips in with the odd contribution in the final third. It would be almost impossible to replace him at Elland Road, which is why Leeds’ play-off bid could be over before it’s already begun.
According to Football Insider, the midfielder is reportedly on the radar of AFC Bournemouth who are keen to add him to their growing roster of young, exciting British players.
Having already completed the signing of England under-21 international Lloyd Kelly from Bristol City, it would not be at all surprising if Eddie Howe does indeed swoop for Phillips in the coming weeks. Although Bielsa will be reluctant to let the midfielder leave given his influence for the Whites, he may be tempted to sell him if the Cherries come in with a big offer.
However, with the Whites’ future at stake, it is clear that the Argentine should not even consider letting Phillips leave when the transfer window opens in July as if he does, it could lead to disaster.
Without the midfielder’s domineering presence next season, it would not be at all surprising if Leeds end up struggling to compete in the Championship.
What do you think Whites fans? How important is it that Bielsa convinces Phillips to stay this summer? Are you confident that your side can bounce back next season? Let us know below.
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