With Leeds United’s 2018/19 Championship campaign coming to an unfortunate end as we missed out on promotion to the Premier League, there should still be high hopes and optimism for a big summer ahead where we look to go one stage further next year.
Key to that will be Marcelo Bielsa’s role at the club and this week hopefully we’ll have great news on that score given the recent speculation, but it’s also inevitably led to plenty of departure speculation for those players who excelled across the season, and those who have shown signs that they have a big future ahead in the game.
One such player is Kalvin Phillips and there have been a number of links already, not least with this year’s title winners Norwich City, but BBC commentator and former Leeds player Noel Whelan believes that the 23-year-old would be making a backwards step if he moved to Carrow Road as he spoke to Football Insider recently.
“Don’t do it, you’re better off at Leeds. I’m not sure he would play regularly at Southampton or Bournemouth, they’ve already got quality central midfielders. Maybe Norwich, he would play regularly, but they will struggle to stay in the Premier League. Would he be going anywhere better? It might be one season in the Premier League for Norwich and they could be going down in 12 months and Leeds could be going up. Are Norwich going to be competitive in the Premier League? I’m not so sure.”
Perfectly valid points from Whelan, but given it seems Ralph Hasenhuttl at Southampton and Eddie Howe at Bournemouth are more open to playing younger players if they deserve the start, I’m not so sure I agree with him there – and like all players, Phillips would back himself to get into that starting XI, but questions like that will factor into any eventual decision he may face this summer.