Leeds United must avoid an unforgivable disaster this summer as news emerges over Spurs’ transfer interest in England star Kalvin Phillips.
Reports in recent days have suggested that the north Londoners have got their eye on the 25-year-old, who’s currently shining at international level with the Three Lions at EURO 2020.
It’s claimed that along with Spurs, the likes of European giants Juventus and Real Madrid are also interested, and that the Whites themselves have put a price tag of £25m “in case one of the clubs that are interested wants to make an offer”.
Not only has Phillips grown into an England international under Bielsa’s leadership, but his market value has risen up considerably too.
When the Argentine took over as Leeds boss back in the summer of 2018, replacing Paul Heckingbottom in the dug-out, Phillips was only rated at £4.5m by Transfermarkt.
But gradually over time, that has gone up, before really spiking thanks to the Whites’ promotion to the Premier League – his value now stands at an impressive £27m, which is actually good enough to rank him as Leeds’ joint-most valuable player right now, joint-top with last summer’s signing Raphinha.
That valuation makes it even more eyebrow-raising for Leeds to apparently only want £25m for Phillips this summer. That would be the kind of ludicrous sale that would surely have Bielsa tearing his hair out – not just in terms of the lack of financial sense it makes, but also for the impact for those on the pitch too.
Former Whites boss, Neil Redfearn said: “Leeds create overloads all over the field. Bielsa is very clever with that but Kalvin is key to it. He is the perfect build for that position, a powerful player but also has a fantastic range of passing.
“When he was younger, we used to have him as a box-to-box player who would score plenty of goals. Bielsa has made Kalvin an expert deep-lying midfielder but he could do both roles.”
It’s a telling sign that in the games that Phillips missed last season in the Premier League – nine to be precise – Leeds won just twice, and lost every single other one.
Phillips is the heartbeat of the midfield, and without him, Leeds look a shadow of their real selves. And that’s not taking into account what he means to the club as a whole too, given how he has come through the system and built a real bond with the fans.
So, news that Leeds would be open to a sale for Phillips is disastrous to say the least. The fact then that they would be open to taking just £25m, and potentially even to a possible European rival in Spurs too, would make it completely unforgivable.
Bielsa would absolutely lose his mind.
AND in other Leeds news; The Whites are closing in on a deal to sign in-demand ace