I was going to write this on Sunday when I first saw the news.
But as I learned with the Daniel James situation in January, I felt I’d wait until it became officially official before saying anything. You never know when something might change at the last minute.
So it appears as though all the worry fans had during the summer over his potential departure can finally be put to bed, as Kalvin Phillips has finally signed a new five-year deal at Elland Road. Phil Hay of The Athletic broke the story over the weekend, and was able to give a little bit of an insight into what the deal contains, including the fact that the midfielder will be set to earn around £20,000 per week and that Phillips has asked for a release clause if the club do not achieve promotion.
Whilst there were a lot of fans who were incredibly excited over the news, there are a number of people who have raised a few concerns over the deal. Their main concern seemed to be that this was merely done so that the club could get a bigger fee for him if they don’t go up. And that’s really the point I want to talk about in this piece. Is this merely a move to raise funds in January? Or is this a legitimate long-term contract that will see Phillips stay at Elland Road for some time?
The concerns that some fans have that this is purely a money-making contract by the club are quite legitimate, given that Leeds have developed something of a history of not quite managing to get promotion sorted in one way or another, the idea that this season isn’t quite going to be the year is not out of the realms of possibility despite their impressive start.
However, I think that Leeds fans need not worry themselves with such drama. Whilst I have raised my concerns about the way Marcelo Bielsa has run the team so far this season, I do think that Leeds will be promoted this year having learned from their mistakes last season and correcting them this term.
However, if things do not work out, then at least we know we’ll be able to command a decent fee for him, which we can use to address the rest of the squad, so even if the worst does come to the worst and we don’t get promoted, at least we’ve got that in the back pocket to see us through.
What do you think? Is this merely a way for the club to avoid losing him next summer? Or do you think this is the first step to him becoming part of the furniture at the club?