An update has emerged on Newcastle and their interest in Kalvin Phillips in the summer transfer window…
In the Chronicle Live’s Q&A, journalist Lee Ryder has revealed that the Leeds machine is a player PIF have had their eye on.
The reporter has cast doubt over whether or not it will happen after the Whites avoided the drop but the England international is on the club’s radar.
A fan asked about the possibility of a holding midfielder coming in and Ryder said: “I think if the star quality is there on certain players and they become available it can’t be ruled out. Kalvin Phillips is certainly a player they have looked at. Had Leeds gone down, I think that would have been stepped up but it would have been a huge fee for the England star.”
If Dan Ashworth can now seal a masterclass by bringing Phillips – who has been valued at up to £60m – to the club, he can be Howe’s own version of West Ham and England enforcer Rice.
The Leeds man was once described as a “destroyer” by Steve McClaren and that is exactly what he is in the middle of the park as he breaks up play and wins the ball back for his team. He destroys opposition attacks with his full-blooded challenges and intelligent positional play, much like his England teammate does for the Hammers.
The pair played alongside each other for England in the European Championships last year and formed a solid partnership. Rice made 3.7 tackles and interceptions per game, whilst Phillips made 2.3 per match and completed 86% of his passes.
Both players are, therefore, adept at winning possession back for the team – for club and country – and have proven themselves on the top level – in the Premier League and internationally.
This is why Ashworth can now land Howe his own version of Rice by securing a deal to sign the Leeds enforcer before the end of the transfer window. He can be the ex-Bournemouth coach’s bully in the middle of the park; sliding into challenges, intercepting the ball, and destroying the opposition’s play.