Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has showered heaps of praise on Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips and believes that he has been key to success for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
The local Leeds boy has developed into a key player for the club after he made his senior debut in 2014. Whelan says that Phillips looked lost last season, but under Bielsa he looks a player reborn.
The 22-year-old has featured in every minute of Leeds’ 2018-19 campaign, with Bielsa claiming that he doesn’t have any similar player who can perform his role.
“I pick out Kalvin Phillips,” Whelan told the Sporting Life podcast. “Absolutely integral to the way they play. He is that sitting midfield player that drops in between the two centre halves. It allows the wing backs to get so high.”
Phillips does the ugly defensive work allowing creative players to exert their influence. Along with that he is very disciplined in his position. Phillips has a wide range of passing ability, and he is asked to sit deep and be the safety belt for the back four.
In doing so, he allows the full-backs to bomb forward. Bielsa loves to play an attacking system, and Phillips is key to his plans. He holds things tight in the middle of the park, and it is working wonders for him and the Yorkshire club at the moment.
Leeds are in red hot form in 2018-19, winning all three of their opening Championship games. The Whites will face Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday night.