This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
The question for much of the summer surrounding Leeds was whether Kalvin Phillips would stay or whether he’d leave.
However, as the hours and minutes ticked down towards the deadline of 5pm on Thursday evening, it was confirmed by Phil Hay and the player’s agent that he’d stay at the club and discuss a new deal.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) August 8, 2019
The news will come as a great relief to the Whites who at various stages of the window looked as though they could lose him.
Leeds wanted £30m for their man and rarely did they budge.
Yet, Leeds didn’t sell. They held their stance and in a period where they could have easily cashed in due to financial fair play, they kept one of their star performers and a man who played 44 times in 2018/19.
For that alone, they have to be applauded.
Holding onto Phillips is huge for Leeds and arguably, it’s the best business they’ve done all summer. If they can agree to new terms on his contract, it’ll be even better news.
The 24-year-old is someone the team can be built around.
Whether he’s playing as a centre back, an area of the pitch he lost just twice in last term, or if he’s playing as a holding midfielder, he is imperative to Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
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Leeds lack defensive options and as it happens, he could feature more regularly at the heart of either a back four or back three.
That being said, the Yorkshire club’s transfer window was still rather tedious.
For a long time it looked as though they wouldn’t sign a new striker and despite the qualities loan signing Eddie Nketiah possesses, the decision to hold onto Phillips – when they were quick to cash in on two important players in Pontus Jansson and Kemar Roofe – could be even greater than any new arrival at Elland Road.
The fact Leeds wanted as much as £30m for his services proves how valuable he is but they now must ensure he agrees on a new contract.
After all, this is a player who could leave for far less in a year with his current deal due to expire in 2021.