Phil Hay has dropped a major update on the future of Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips.
In recent comments made on The Athletic Football Podcast, the Leeds United correspondent stated his belief that, should the Whites go on to suffer relegation from the Premier League on Sunday, it will be a near-impossible task for Victor Orta and Andrea Radrizzani to convince the 26-year-old to put pen to paper on a new deal at Elland Road, as well as suggesting that it would also be extremely difficult for the club to keep hold of the England international in the summer transfer window.
Concerning Phillips’ long-term future in LS11, Hay said: “With Kalvin Phillips, it’s a little bit more difficult to tell. The club have been hopeful that they might pin him down with a new contract for one more year.
“They know that, ultimately, he’ll want to play at a higher level, but you’re right, if they go down it seems impossible to convince Phillips that it’s good for his prospects given that there’s a World Cup coming up later in the year.”
Considering just how important a part of the Leeds side Phillips has proven himself to be in recent years, the prospect of Sunday being the midfielder’s last game for the Whites is sure to be a thought that will leave the Elland Road faithful devastated.
Indeed, over his 29 Premier League appearances last time out, the £45m-rated maestro was crucial in Leeds securing a highly impressive top-half finish, making an average of 1.6 interceptions, 2.6 tackles, 1.7 clearances and winning 5.3 duels – at a success rate of 52% – per game.
The £38k-per-week talent also impressed in a creative capacity, bagging one goal, providing two assists and creating five big chances for his teammates, as well as making an average of 1.2 key passes, 4.7 long balls and 41 passes per fixture.
These metrics saw the deep-lying playmaker average a quite remarkable SofaScore match rating of 7.21, not only ranking him as Marcelo Bielsa’s best performer in the league but also as the ninth-best midfielder in the division as a whole.
And, while a hamstring injury has limited the 19-time capped international’s game time in the current campaign, he has nevertheless impressed over the 19 Premier League matches in which he has featured, making an average of 1.1 interceptions, 2.7 tackles, 37.8 passes and winning 4.8 duels per outing – with these returns seeing the 26-year-old average a SofaScore match rating of 6.82.
As such, should Phillips indeed move onto pastures new amid links to Manchester United, Newcastle United and Aston Villa this summer, it would undoubtedly come as a gutting blow to Leeds supporters.
Indeed, the Elland Road faithful will certainly be desperate for their club to pick up all three points against Brentford this weekend – not only to see their club potentially remain in the Premier League but also to give the Whites a chance of keeping the Leeds-born talent beyond the end of the current campaign.