This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
Kalvin Phillips is Leeds United born and bred. Born in the city, he is a boyhood supporter of the club and has played for them since 2010.
He came through the academy system at Elland Road, and was highly rated during his days in the youth team. Indeed, academy coach Jason Blunt said in 2015 that he is “a typical Leeds midfielder who the fans tend to like,” (via HITC).
Blunt was right, and since making his first-team debut against Wolves in April 2015 (Transfermarkt) Phillips has gone from strength to strength and has become a firm fans favourite at Elland Road.
In only his second game for the first-team he scored his first goal for the club in a 2-1 defeat against Cardiff City (Transfermarkt). He didn’t play again for the rest of that season, but continued to get minutes in the 15/16 campaign, making 10 league appearances (Transfermarkt).
The season after saw Phillips really make his breakthrough for Leeds, he made 33 league appearances in total including 23 starts under Garry Monk (Transfermarkt).
Since then he has continued to be a regular starter for the Whites, despite different managers being in charge. In 17/18 he made 41 league appearances under both Thomas Christiansen and Paul Heckingbottom, scoring a career-best seven goals whilst also providing three assists (Transfermarkt).
He remains a regular for the Argentine this season, starting all of their league fixtures so far (Transfermarkt). He is now 23-years-old and he has significantly improved his game under the guidance of Bielsa, so much so that there have even been reports that Manchester United are interested in buying the midfielder (The Sun).
Linked with the likes of Aston Villa over the course of the summer, the Whites were understood to have slapped a £30m price tag on the player. With that in mind and given United’s apparent interest in the player, it seems fair to draw a comparison between Phillips and Alan Smith. Indeed, the club are now able to ask for big money for their top talents despite the disappointment of not being in the Premier League, while the latter was sold relatively cheaply due to the dire financial situation at the club not helped amid relegation.
While not being promoted under Marcelo Bielsa last season was obviously frustrating, it’s important to remember just how far the club have come.
Leeds will not want to sell a man who is now one of their prized assets, and recently managed to extend his contract until 2024 (BBC Sport). That means that he is now worth a significant amount to the club, and if he is ever sold they are guaranteed to make a huge profit on him given he came through their youth system.
Leeds fans, just how much do you think Kalvin Phillips is now worth to the club? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…
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