From castigated in parts during the 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship campaign, to lauded last season – that is Kalvin Phillips’ lot over the past two seasons.
Last season, under the guidance of Marcelo Bielsa, Phillips was a man reborn. The legendary Argentinian coach turned him into a defensive midfield lock, with Whites fans dubbing him ‘the Yorkshire Pirlo.’
He was that vital lock in front of the Leeds United defensive backline, yet he was more than that. He was able to slip back into the back line and operate more than capably as a centre-back. He was also key in the metronymic build up from the back that came to typify Bielsa’s Leeds.
He gained many plaudits from opponents and neutrals alike, and admiring glances from Premier League sides, if rumour is to be believed as truth. However, in news coming through from the Telegraph’s John Percy, supposition and rumour might have to take a back seat.
Percy writes that Aston Villa, who Leeds United had two titanic tussles with in last season’s Sky Bet Championship, are readying a bid to take the Leeds-born midfielder away from his home city. He writes in the above article that the Whites will have to steel themselves as “Aston Villa are launching a £14 million bid” for Phillips’ services.
Yet, the Telegraph’s Midlands reporter warns that Villa’s interest and entry bid of £14 million might not cut the mustard with the Whites. He warns that “Leeds [are]ready to demand up to £20m” for Phillips, an amount that would surely test the seriousness of any interest the Villans had.
Percy adds that Villa’s scouting set-up had “watched Phillips on numerous occasions” and warns that they “are now ready to make an official bid in the next few weeks.” It will be an interesting few weeks for Leeds United fans to bear, what with the importance that Kalvin Phillips has to the set-up of Bielsa’s sides.