Championship

Leeds United: Noel Whelan says Romaine Sawyers would be his choice to replace Kalvin Phillips

Leeds United: Noel Whelan says Romaine Sawyers would be his choice to replace Kalvin Phillips

Noel Whelan has revealed he believes Leeds United should sign Romaine Sawyers, should they ever lose Kalvin Phillips.

The pundit was speaking to Football Insider and stated that the West Bromwich Albion defensive midfielder was the second-best player in the Championship behind the Whites’ current star.

Whelan admitted Sawyers has looked like a great signing for the Baggies and stated that he loved watching him during his time at Griffin Park.

“He’s a player if we ever lost Kalvin, I’d like to see him come to Leeds. They’ve got him at a snip,” he said.

“He would probably be the second choice in that defensive area for me in the Championship. Loved watching him at Brentford, very calm on the ball, very much like a Kalvin Phillips kind of player.

“Someone who has experience at Championship level. He’ll be that player, like Kalvin, that breaks attacks up, great reading of the game, he was a great signing.”

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Indeed, it would appear as though Whelan would have a fairly valid point in that Sawyers could be an ideal replacement for Phillips, should they lose their star midfielder.

According to data collected by WhoScored, the St. Kitts and Nevis international appears to have been rather effective in Slaven Bilic’s side defensively this season. In his six Championship matches to date, he has recorded averages of 1.5 tackles and 0.5 interceptions per game.

Although those figures are, perhaps, modest at this moment in time – in his previous campaign for Brentford, he managed to achieve a respectable 1.3 tackles, 0.7 interceptions and 0.7 clearances in his 42 second-tier appearances.

However, there will be a desire that Leeds never have to consider replacing Phillips as he has proven to be key to the way Marcelo Bielsa’s squad operates and appears to have a hugely better average than Sawyers – which may back up the argument Whelan has regarding how good their star performer is.

The 23-year-old has managed to achieve an average of 4.7 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 1.8 clearances in the current campaign (WhoScored).

Indeed, Phillips recently signed a new deal to remain at Leeds, however, with performances as good as they have been, it may only be a matter of time before they face a difficult test in trying to keep him at Elland Road.

Leeds fans, do you think Whelan is right to suggest Sawyers could replace Phillips if needed to? Let us know your thoughts by sharing them in the comments section below!

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