We are into the international break, and Leeds United will look to bounce back after a defeat against Swansea City at Elland Road. It was a proper ‘smash and grab’ job from Steve Cooper’s men as the Whites dominated the proceedings, but the Swans found a scrappy goal in the 90th minute. United meanwhile have been handed a significant update on the future of one of their crucial players.
Kalvin Phillips who drew plenty of interest in the summer from Aston Villa remains a crucial player in Bielsa’s setup. The defensive midfielder still has his contract at the club until 2021, but United are looking to tie him down on a long term deal.
CEO’s update on Phillips’ contract situation
Club’s CEO Angus Kinnear recently gave an update that they are close on to agreeing on a deal with the Englishman. He said (BBC Radio Leeds), ”He deserves a new contract. He is at the very heart of what we want to achieve. He is a local lad, and he knows what it means to play for Leeds United. We’ve had very constructive chats with him and his agent, and I think we are very close.”
It is likely going to be a bumper deal, and Kinnear also indicated that they would use the money from player funds on tying down their crucial players on long-term contracts and it is no surprise that Phillips is going to be one of them.
Phillips: The heart of Bielsa’s team
The midfielder has managed to take his game to the next level ever since Bielsa took over. He was always known to be a decent talent, but the Whites were still unaware of his best. The Argentine manager has brought the best out of him, and it is no surprise that Kinnear refers to him as the heart of what they want to achieve.
Phillips is known to be a good reader of the game, and that gives him an edge in anticipating dangers while playing as a defensive midfielder. He is known to make snappy and clean challenges and often comes out triumphant in 50-50 situations. However, the 23-year-old is more than just a midfield disruptor as he has impressive on the ball qualities as well, which makes him an orchestrator of attack from the back.
Moreover, Phillips’ versatility to play in defence is also a massive asset for Bielsa as the club is slightly thin in that department after Pontus Jansson and Aapo Halme departed from the club this summer. United though need to get back in the Premier League soon if they want to keep Phillips as a one-club man.
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