When the Professional Footballers’ Association Team of the Year for the Championship was announced on Wednesday, it was no surprise whatsoever that the selection was dominated by automatic promotion challengers Norwich City and Leeds United.
Whereas the Canaries saw the likes of Jamal Lewis, Max Aarons and Teemu Pukki make the squad, Marcelo Bielsa’s Whites also saw three players rewarded for their contributions this season as Pontus Jansson, Liam Cooper and Pablo Hernandez were all included (via Sky Sports).
Although this is a significant achievement for Leeds, one of their stand-out performers has every right to be gutted about being snubbed for the rewards.
Having been utterly superb in a number of different positions for his side this year, it could be argued that Kalvin Phillips has been equally, if not more important than both Jansson and Cooper for the Whites.
The £6.3m-rated ace (via Transfermarkt) has been playing the best football of his career to date and could be destined for stardom over the coming years if he continues to develop as a player.
When the midfielder hasn’t featured for Bielsa’s side, they look like a completely different team with his absence from last Monday’s clash with Brentford resulting in Leeds losing 2-0 at Griffin Park.
Rather than dwelling on his failure to win the PFA award, Phillips could use the disappointment as motivation for the rest of the season. Although a top-two finish in the Championship is looking incredibly unlikely for the Whites, they could still secure a return to the top flight after 15 years away via the play-offs.
In order to achieve this, they will need Phillips to be at his very best in the knock-out competition as if he isn’t, all of Leeds’ hard-work this year could be undone in the most heartbreaking of circumstances.
What do you think Leeds fans? Are you shocked that Phillips wasn’t included in the PFA Team of the Year? How impressed have you been with the midfielder this season? Let us know below.
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