This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
After his incredible 2018/19 season, Kalvin Phillips has attracted interest from several Premier League clubs. Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Norwich have all apparently been looking at the defensive midfielder.
With all of this speculation, Leeds have been thinking about other options in Phillips’ position, and one name that has continuously cropped up is Ander Iturraspe. The Whites were linked with the Spaniard back in March (AS (11/03), reported via Sport Witness), but his recent comments may indicate that a move could be on the horizon.
If Iturraspe joined the Whites they would be getting an experienced player from La Liga, but his recent performances may show that he isn’t as good as Phillips.
The above image takes stats from Iturraspe’s most recent full La Liga campaign as he made just three appearances last term, and compares them to Phillips’ incredible 2018/19 season.
As you can see in the infographic, the 5 ft 10 man outshines the Spaniard in multiple areas.
In terms of defensive output, the 23-year-old is clearly the better option that Iturraspe.
Of course, in his younger years, Iturraspe played under Bielsa, but even then his tackling numbers aren’t quite at the level of Phillips’ last season as he made just 2.1 and 1.9 tackles per game during his two seasons under the Argentine.
Perhaps the only area of Phillips’ game that Leeds would want to change is his disciplinary record, but Iturraspe actually picks up more yellow cards per 90 mins than the Englishman, too.