Leeds United are confident of securing Kalvin Phillips to a long-term deal following their Premier League survival.
The Lowdown: Plenty of interest
For a player of Phillips’ calibre to be at the bottom of the table, he was naturally likely to draw interest from other Premier League clubs.
Newcastle, Aston Villa, Liverpool, West Ham and Manchester United were all at one point interested in the Leeds-born midfielder, however the Whites managed to hold firm to deny any bids they received over the season.
With relegation avoided, Marsch is hoping he can tie down one of his prized assets as they look to ensure they don’t find themselves in a similar position next year.
The Latest: Expected to stay
Mirror journalist David Anderson, speaking to GIVEMESPORT, feared for Leeds as they neared relegation. He felt that both Phillips and Raphinha were certain to leave, had they dropped into the Championship. This was due to relegation clauses inserted in both contracts.
But given their final day heroics, he now backs Phillips to stay.
“Now that Leeds have survived, I think he will stay and sign a new contract.
“If they had gone down, he would have left and I think Raphinha, who has got the escape clause in his contract, would definitely be gone as well.”
This will be welcome news to Marsch, who would have feared the worst regarding his squad should the unthinkable have happened and they were relegated.
The Verdict: Whatever it takes
The struggles of Leeds United this season, without an injury-ridden Phillips, further exemplify his importance to them. How the England manager Gareth Southgate described the £45m-rated powerhouse perfectly shows how important, yet unnoticed he can go: “so understated”.
He completely transforms Leeds when he plays, offering aggression with an eye for a pass in midfield that they lack when he is not there. His pressures per game put him in the 98th percentile for midfielders, whilst his tackles and blocks are also in the 97th and 96th percentile respectively.
It is no surprise that last season Leeds boasted 1.78 points per game when Phillips featured, dropping to 0.9 without him.
His long-term injury has plagued Leeds’ season, but with the 26-year-old hopefully signing a new long-term deal, he can lead the Whites to a more successful year in 2022-23 and solidify his place in the England team with the upcoming World Cup.
Leeds have also shown early intent in the transfer window. Find out who they’re after here.