Aston Villa are hoping the prospect of a big pay rise will be enough to prise Kalvin Phillips away from Leeds United, according to Football Insider.
They have already had an offer for the midfielder declined, as reported by Football Insider, though that was not enough to end the newly-promoted Premier League side’s interest.
Phillips is reportedly on close to £10,000 and has turned down a contract extension, as it failed to make him one of the club’s top earners, according to the same outlet.
Aston Villa are now offering to surpass what any of Leeds’ players earn and put the 23-year-old on £60,000-per-week.
Having already signed Douglas Luiz, who can play in defensive midfield, Villa’s move for Phillips suggests they might want more competition in that area.
Phillips was often deployed as a holding midfielder last season and was an integral part of Leeds’ game both defensively and in possession, which is backed up by his numbers.
As per Total Football Analysis, he was Leeds’ third-highest passer, making 58.5 passes per game with a success rate of 82.1%.
He also made more tackles than any Leeds player with 2.6, while also making 2.6 clearances and 1.3 interceptions per game.
In comparison, Luiz had a lesser impact while on loan at Girona, as he averaged 1.5 tackles, 0.9 interceptions and 1 clearance per game, as per WhoScored.
While the Brazilian had a higher pass success rate than Phillips, at 84.5%, he didn’t get on the ball and play it as regularly, averaging 31.7 passes per game.
Even if Phillips was playing in a lesser league last season, the level of influence he had would surely put him above Luiz for Aston Villa, as he would offer more protection to the new-look backline, while also being a reliable option to build the play from the back.
Getting Phillips would certainly be a good move for Aston Villa, as he could be a more effective holding midfielder than Luiz.
This doesn’t mean the Brazilian would be wasted though, as he can also play a more rounded central-midfield role, as shown on WhoScored.
If it is possible for Villa to tempt Phillips away from Leeds they should definitely do it.
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