Wolves will continue to keep tabs on Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips this season despite the 23-year-old committing his future to the Championship club.
Football Insider reported that Wolves plan to keep an eye on the midfielder throughout the campaign ahead of a possible approach.
Also, Leeds announced on their official website yesterday that Phillips has signed a new five-year contract at Elland Road following considerable interest in him from other clubs.
Last month, The Sun reported that Wolves were strongly interested in the player but baulked at his £30m valuation from Leeds.
Although Phillips has played mainly as a central midfielder over the course of his career, Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa deployed him as a centre-back and deep-lying playmaker at times last season.
So far this season, six of his eight starts have come from a defensive midfield role, with one game each as a centre-back and central midfielder. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
That change of position has perhaps led to a downturn in the 23-year-old’s goal contribution – having scored seven times and provided three assists in 2017/18, he only netted once and set up three goals the following season and has not been involved in any goals so far this term. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
Phillips is highly adept at breaking up opposition attacks, posting match averages of 4.7 successful tackles, two successful aerial duels and 1.3 interceptions in the early weeks of this season. [via WhoScored.com]
In terms of his use of the ball, he has a passing success rate of 86.4% and averages 67.4 passes, 0.7 crosses, one key pass and 0.5 dribbles per game. [via WhoScored.com]
Wolves’ defensive midfielders Ruben Neves, Leander Dendoncker and Romain Saiss have all found the net this season and got nine goals between them in 2018/19, although their tackling averages for this season are far inferior to Phillips – Neves has won 1.5 tackles per game, with the other two players averaging one each per game.
The Leeds man has also been much more economical in possession this season than the Wolves trio – Dendoncker is the next best with 74.2%, while Neves and Saiss have accuracy rates of just 70.6% and 65.6% respectively.
On the face of it, many of Phillips’ statistics compare quite favourably to the defensive midfielders at Wolves.
However, even for a defensive midfielder, his goal return is quite low, while he is operating at a lower level than Wolves’ players. Also, Leeds’ reported valuation of £30m (as per The Sun) seems steep for someone who has never featured in the top flight.
For now, though, Phillips is definitely worth keeping an eye on and, if Leeds fail to achieve promotion this season, the player may then be tempted by a move to a Premier League club like Wolves.
Wolves fans, do you think Phillips would be an astute addition to the squad or is he overpriced? Have your say in the comments section below!
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