Out of all the names that have played under the guidance of Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds United, one player that has been a regular figure for the Argentine with a total of 131 appearances for Leeds under Bielsa is midfielder Kalvin Phillips.
Having been linked with a move away from the Yorkshire club in recent months with fellow Premier League clubs Liverpool and Manchester United reportedly interested in him, it would be a disaster if Leeds were to say goodbye to their midfield star, especially to another top-flight side.
However, it seems as though Leeds have been handed a massive boost regarding Phillips and his future with the England international recently revealing that he would be willing to sign a new contract at Elland Road, even though his current deal isn’t set to expire until the summer of 2024.
He commented: “I just want to focus on getting back fit,’ he says. ‘But I speak to the owner regularly. I want a new contract. I’m very happy here.”
Phillips’ importance to Leeds was shown throughout last season with the Whites losing seven of the nine Premier League games he missed.
It’s been a similar story this season with Leeds failing to win any of the games Phillips hasn’t been involved in, highlighting just how crucial he is for the team.
In the 29 league games he played in Premier League last season, the 26-year-old, who is currently earning a weekly wage of £38k-per-week according to Salary Sport, managed to rack up an average of 2.6 tackles per game, 1.7 clearances per game and 1.6 interceptions per game, showing how important he is for the team, particularly from a defensive point of view.
With this in mind and his desire to sign a new deal with Leeds, Victor Orta now has the opportunity to start 2022 with a bang and delight plenty of Leeds fans by giving Phillips, who has been labelled as a “destroyer” on the pitch by former England manager Steve McClaren, what he wants.
Looking beyond that, another big hope for Phillips would be that he can get back to full fitness as soon as possible after picking up a hamstring injury earlier this month so he can help his side avoid relegation by the end of the season and not have to spend another campaign in the Championship.