Leeds United are keen on signing an ideal backup to Kalvin Phillips this summer, with no current squad member tailor-made to fill in for him when absent.
The 25-year-old has been an outstanding performer for the Whites in recent years, arguably becoming the first name on Marcelo Bielsa’s team sheet.
Phillips has taken his imperious form with him from the Championship to the Premier League, forcing his way into Gareth Southgate’s England squad in the process.
The midfielder is a huge loss when he is unavailable, however – as has been the case recently, having missed a chunk of action with a calf injury.
Leeds eye up Phillips deputy this summer
Leeds are looking to alleviate that issue moving forward, with The Athletic‘s Phil Hay claiming that they are ‘thinking seriously about recruiting cover’ for the England international, with their current backup options far from the ‘perfect match’, with Pascal Struijk mentioned as an example.
Marcela Bielsa’s hope is that a new addition will mean future absences for Phillips would leave ‘a smaller void’ than it has this season, with the Whites not the same team without him, losing six of the eight league matches he has missed.
Hay describes Phillips as Leeds’ ‘best player’ against West Ham and ‘highly effective’ in the 0-0 draw at home to Chelsea, highlighting his importance even after a lengthy absence.
Transfer Tavern take
The importance of squad depth cannot be downplayed over the course of a long and gruelling season in the Premier League, so a new midfield signing of Phillips’ ilk is important this summer.
It is never healthy to be overly reliant on one individual, which can arguably be the case with the Leeds midfielder, and a summer reinforcement would allow for more rotation from Bielsa.
In other news, Hay has also provided an important injury update on Patrick Bamford. Read all about it here.
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