Friday, January 21, 2022

Leeds United Eyeing This Midfielder As A Possible Replacement If Phillips Is Sold: Right Call By 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.

According to the latest reports from Leeds Live, Leeds United have outlined Stoke City’s midfielder Ryan Woods as a possible replacement for Kalvin Phillips if he goes on to join Aston Villa. The Villans are thought to be mulling over making a bid of £20m for the English midfielder. The Whites are valuing him at £30m. It remains to be seen whether the Birmingham based club would be able to lure away Phillips in the transfer market.

Woods: The ginger Pirlo

Coming to Woods, the midfielder had joined Stoke City last summer on loan, and his move was made permanent this year in January. Therefore it would be interesting to see whether the Potters will sell their midfielder after signing him permanently just a few months ago.

The midfielder has the experience of playing in 149 games at the Championship level, and he was a regular for Brentford before joining Stoke. Woods had come up from Shrewsbury Town’s academy, and he was fondly called ‘Ginger Pirlo’ by the Shrewsbury faithful.

The defensive midfielder made 28 appearances for his club last season, and he was impressive in his performances even though he wasn’t regular on occasions.

Can Woods do Phillips’ job?

It’s tough to do what Phillips did for the Whites last season. The midfielder played as a defensive midfielder but more than just being a midfield disruptor, Phillips used to orchestrate attacks from the back. The 23-year-old can be even termed as a deep-lying playmaker as the Leeds defence often looked to get Phillips on the ball to build up play. Defensively too, Phillips was impressive with his pressing and reading of the game.

Woods will have big shoes to fill, and he does seem to have raw attributes to do what Phillips did for the Whites. However, to do it consistently and effectively throughout the season is going to be the big question here. The Stoke man also showcases an impressive work rate so that could be one of the reasons why Biesla and the club are seeing him as a possible replacement.

However, if the transfer of Phillips happens, then the Whites should have enough funds in their kitty to look for a proven talent as the Englishman’s replacement. Ideally, they should keep hold of their man for one more season atleast. The club has already sold Jack Clarke so the problem of complying to FFP rules must have significantly lessened after that deal. Woods has the potential to be a success under a manager like Bielsa, but keeping Phillips should be a priority for the club.

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