Wednesday, October 5, 2022

West Brom Could Target This Leeds United Midfielder: How He Is So Influential Under Bielsa

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Ayush Chaurasia
Sports Management Graduate. Wannabe sports manager/writer and researcher. If not found disscussing about sports, will be seen talking about movies or tv shows. Miserable rest of the times.

As cited by Bristol Live, transfer expert Alan Nixon claims that West Bromwich Albion are set to target Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips in the next summer. It is believed that if the Whites fail to get promoted by next season and the Baggies do get to the English top flight then Darren Moore is expected is to go all out for this talented defensive midfielder.

However, the way things are, it’s United who are in a better position to go through to the Premier League after years of disappointment. English midfielder Kalvin Phillips has played a significant role in that as he been influential in the defensive midfield position. Currently, with a lot of first-team defenders injured, Marcelo Bielsa has used him as a centre back.

Credit to Bielsa for bringing the best out of Phillips as not many believed that he could thrive in this deeper role in midfield. The 23-year-old has played a massive part this season in United’s promotion pursuit. His on the ball abilities are what makes him perfect for this role as he is calm and composed when under pressure and can distribute the ball well from deep areas.

In some games, Bielsa substituted Phillips early when he was found wanting, but the manager has always trusted him more often than not. Many were of the opinion that Adam Forshaw would break into the starting lineup in place of Phillips after he got back to full fitness but the English midfielder is currently one of the favourites of Bielsa.

Phillips plays a significant role in United controlling the game as they like to play possession-based football and when they lose the ball, they try to regain it back quickly by pressing their opponents. For something like that to click, the defensive midfielder needs to be smart and know when to press high up the pitch to nick the ball and when to fall back. The English midfielder has played that role to perfection more often than not.

He is not the typical defensive midfielder whose only job is to be industrious and shield the back four as the Whites’ defenders often pass the ball to him to spring out attacks from the back. As a result, Phillips often finds himself dropping in between the two centre-backs to get more on the ball to build from the back.

If the West Yorkshire outfit fails to gain promotion, we believe Phillips could be targetted by even some Premier League clubs next season. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if he goes on to leave Elland Road as he would surely dream of playing in the English top flight and for the Three Lions. Hopefully, he can fulfil those dreams while playing at Elland Road.

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