Recent reports from Manchester Evening News state that Manchester United have already started working on a deal for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips as Erik Ten Hag looks set to add to his options in the middle of the park.
A fee in the region of £50m-£60m should be enough to secure the Englishman’s services, significantly less than the £150m asking price that West Ham United has set for Declan Rice. Besides, with Leeds struggling in the sixteenth place in the Premier League table, it might be easier to convince him for a move.
Ten Hag is reportedly set to be given £120m to start his rebuild in the summer, so spending the vast majority of the budget on one player would make no sense.
Having come through the ranks at Leeds United, Kalvin Phillips made his debut for first-team debut on April 6, 2015, at the age of nineteen. Over the course of the last eight years, the 26-year-old midfielder has made 228 appearances for his side, bagging 27 goal contributions in the process.
Despite missing out on a huge chunk of the season with an unfortunate hamstring injury, Phillips has managed to put up impressive numbers on the board – averaging 2.1 tackles, 1.1 interceptions, 0.9 clearances, 0.5 blocks, and 3.1 long balls per 90 minutes in the English top-flight (calculated over 14 appearances). It goes without saying that the 19-times England international is pivotal to the Yorkshire club. One of the main reasons they find themselves struggling near the foot of the table this term is because of his absence for fourteen consecutive matches (of which they managed to win just two).
The First Step To Ten Hag’s Rebuild?
Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard are all likely to leave the club in the summer transfer window when their contracts expire. Besides, the Mc-Fred double pivot has let the team down on countless occasions. There are way too many holes to fill to bring this dysfunctional side back on track.
Under such circumstances, Phillips’ arrival at The Theatre of Dreams will undeniably strengthen Ten Hag’s midfield department, and he could potentially be one of the many pieces the Dutch tactician needs to stabilise United’s midfield proceedings.
At 26, the Leeds-born midfielder has a lot to offer, so it won’t be entirely surprising if the board breaks the bank to secure his signature.
(Stats from WhoScored)