Former England international Kevin Phillips has gushed over Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips, and lauded the midfielder’s importance to boss Marcelo Bielsa’s plans at Elland Road.
Bielsa welcomed Phillips back into his side at Brentford on Tuesday night after the 24-year-old served a three-game suspension, having been shown a straight red card in the closing stages of our 1-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers last month.
Phillips avoided any bookings at Griffin Park as he recorded his 28th start of the Championship season thus far, which keeps the Leeds-born talent three yellow cards away from his second accumulative ban of the campaign.
The boss will be keen to see Phillips avoid another suspension, as he would lose an ‘influential’ part of his side whom ex-Sunderland striker Phillips has lauded for his ability to lead the Whites amid our promotion-chasing season.
“It’s always a blow when you lose arguably one of the best midfielders in the country in that position,” Phillips told Football Insider.
“He’s a leader, and it is that timely boost that Leeds need. Having an influential player like that back in the team will be [a] massive help.
“He’s a great player, one of the best in the Championship, and Bielsa will be delighted to have him back.”
Will Phillips stay in the summer without promotion?
Phillips made his return from suspension against Brentford on Tuesday night as we drew 1-1, recording only our tenth point from a possible 33 over our last 11 Championship fixtures – a run which has seen just two wins.
Phillips was heavily involved in the action at Griffin Park during the stalemate, with the 24-year-old often standing in the Bees’ way and breaking down much of what our hosts looked to build through the middle of the field.
He would end the match having taken the second-most touches of the game (94) and enjoying the most time in possession (9.8%), with which he produced a game-high 66 accurate passes (87%), made a successful dribble and delivered six corners, per WhoScored data.
Our 5 ft 10 academy graduate also won five of his six ground duels, was fouled twice, made two successful tackles, one interception, found teammates with 13 of his 15 long balls and never committed a foul, according to Sofa Score statistics.
In other Leeds United news, a former £4m transfer target is set to become a free agent in the summer.