According to the latest reports from the Telegraph, Aston Villa are prepared to launch a bid of £14m for Leeds United’s midfielder Kalvin Phillips. The Villa scouts have kept their tabs on him, and they feel that he is the right player to solve their defensive midfield issues. Leeds United meanwhile are reportedly ready to demand upto £20m for their midfield talent.
Dean Smith is said to be prioritising the signing of a defensive midfielder as he is going to lose the services of Glen Whelan and Mile Jedinak. Therefore the club is looking to sign a long term defensive midfield option, and no one impressed more in that position in the Championship than Kalvin Phillips last season.
What makes Phillips special?
The Leeds United midfielder acted as a base of attack. He often used to drop between the two centre backs and got on the ball as the fullbacks pushed high up the pitch. The Englishman was impressive with his passes and long diagonals, and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that he played in the role of a deep-lying playmaker.
Apart from on the ball abilities, Phillips is a good reader of the game, and he often used to win back possession by nicking the ball from the opponents. The 23-year-old was smart with his pressing last season as he knew when to press his man and when to fall back and delay the opposition.
His versatility to fill in as a centre back will also come in handy for Smith, and he has previously been linked with Bournemouth as well. There is no doubt that Leeds United would try everything in their means to keep hold of him as Phillips is a vital cog in the Bielsa system.
How much should Smith look to pay for him?
Leeds United have managed to hold on to Bielsa for another season, and there is no doubt that Phillips will be a big part of his plan for the next season. It would be interesting to see whether Phillips’ head would turn with a chance to play in the Premier League.
Our guess would be no as the Englishman was born in Leeds and has come up from their academy. He would probably realise that he could end up playing for Leeds United in the Premier League if things go right next season. Therefore Smith will really have to go over the £14m mark to lure him. We feel that given Phillips talent, they can go as high as £20m odd and meet Leeds United’s valuation for the player. However, if we are honest, even £20m feels low for Phillips.