The Athletic’s Phil Hay has dropped a big Leeds United update on Kalvin Phillips which will have Marcelo Bielsa delighted.
The England international missed the opening game of the Premier League season, with the Whites being thrashed by rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford in his absence.
However, Hay has claimed that Phillips is getting set for an immediate return to action.
Writing on Twitter, the journalist said: “Phillips is getting closer to starting. Llorente likely to be back next week. Bielsa says the responsibility for the defeat at Old Trafford was his. Too much of what he asked for from the players went wrong. #lufc”
Such is the importance Phillips has on this Leeds side, former Whites man Andrew Hughes said: “The only way to get someone who can cover and do the same job perfectly is to spend £50m, at least. That’s what a player like him costs. Rather than talking about how other players match up, you just have to accept he’s very special.”
While it would be far too easy to suggest that the Whites got hammered against Manchester United mainly down to Phillips being out, the midfielder’s absence did play a large role in that defeat, not least because it meant Bielsa fielded a centre-back in Robin Koch in the anchor man role.
The German struggled immensely both in and out of possession, and let his manager down with a woeful display, and Bielsa would no doubt have been desperately hoping all through this week that Phillips would be back.
With Everton next up at Elland Road, the news from Hay that Leeds’ talisman is “getting closer to starting” is sure to have Bielsa absolutely delighted.