Leeds United pundit Paddy Kenny believes that Leeds United would be taking a “massive risk” in starting Kalvin Phillips in the opening weeks of the Premier League season, due to his involvement in UEFA EURO 2020 [Football Insider].
The Lowdown: Leeds United prepare for 2021/22
Though acquiring high-profile talent in the transfer market will certainly be on Marcelo Bielsa’s mind this summer, maintaining the condition of existing key players will also be of paramount importance to the 65-year-old.
One man who will need to be routinely evaluated is 25-year-old Phillips, due to how indispensable he has become at Elland Road – the Whites lost seven of the nine league matches he missed last season.
Will Leeds United rest Kalvin Phillips?
The Latest: Kenny urges caution after Phillips’ “ridiculous” effort
In an interview with Football Insider, 43 year-old Kenny revealed his concern over the lack of recovery time Phillips may have between international duty and the start of the campaign, claiming his running at the tournament was ‘ridiculous’:
“He needs a rest. Have you seen some of his running stats for the tournament? They are ridiculous.
“He’s an unbelievably fit player. But I think after losing the final, mentally, he’ll need a break.
“It’s a massive risk for any player that’s been involved in the Euros to come straight back in. You’re risking injury, either later on or at the start of the season.
“You’ve got to look at the bigger picture, you can rest him and have him for the rest of the season or rush him for the start of the season and he gets an injury that rules him out for ages.” [Football Insider]
The Verdict: Phillips needs rest
Correctly, the 43-year-old points out the imperative need for the England midfielder to get some time off to recuperate after a busy summer of international football.
Dominating the middle of the park for the Three Lions in the tournament, Phillips made 32 ball recoveries in seven games for his native country [UEFA EURO 2020].
In 2020/21, he was ever present for Leeds United, registering four goal contributions from 31 appearances; one goal and three assists [Transfermarkt].
Never shy of a challenge, the Leeds-born Phillips successfully carried out 2.6 tackles per game in the Premier League across the season [WhoScored].
Looking ahead, the Whites should look to do whatever it takes to keep the Thorp Arch academy product free from injury, and if that means resting him for the first couple of matches then so be it.
In other news, a defender is close to sealing an Elland Road exit.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience