According to the latest reports from the Daily Star, Bournemouth are going to target Leeds United’s talented midfielder Kalvin Phillips in the summer. The Whites man emerged as an integral player for Bielsa this season as they came perilously close to promotion. Phillips was a regular feature for his side in the defensive midfield position.
Something like this happening was always going to be on the cards once the Whites missed out on promotion to the Premier League. Their star and upcoming players could very well be lured by the Premier League. Bournemouth have a history of signing British players, and that has paid rich dividends in the past few seasons as they have established themselves as a top-flight club.
Phillips even filled in as a centre back for Marcelo Bielsa during the injury crisis. His positional sense and reading of the game were so brilliant that he played in that new role with ease when called upon by Bielsa. Therefore we feel that the club might need two players to replace Phillips if he goes on to join Bournemouth.
Leeds United need to make sure that they keep the core of their team intact if they want to challenge for promotion in the next season. If a player like Phillips departs from the club, then even Bielsa might have second thoughts about staying at Elland Road.
Why is Phillips so crucial for Leeds?
Leeds United played an extravagant brand of football, which involved a lot of off the ball movement and building up from the back. The English midfielder was the primary distributor of the ball from deep areas as he often sat between the two centre-halves as the full-backs pushed up. His passing range was usually fantastic, and Bielsa used him as a base to attack.
Phillips’ off the ball qualities were also commendable as he used to win a lot of 50-50 duels in the middle. The midfielder used to recover possession often and acted as a major barrier in front of his defence. All in all, he is a perfect all-round defensive midfielder, and there aren’t any players like him atleast at the Championship level.
What United needs to do?
The 23-year-old is contracted to stay at Elland Road until 2021. The midfielder last extended his contract in 2017 and the way he has emerged in the past season; we feel that the club should offer him an improved deal to keep him at Elland Road. Otherwise one wouldn’t blame him if he chooses to move to Bournemouth to play in the Premier League.
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