This week the Sun on Sunday (09/12/2018; pg 57) reported that West Bromwich Albion were keeping tabs on Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips. The report claimed that the player was being valued at £10 million and that Baggies boss Darren Moore was hopeful of winning promotion at Leeds’ expense in order to get his man.
The report just highlights the impressive progression of the Leeds midfielder. This time last year, the promise of a £10 million offer would have been gobbled up by Leeds fans. Now, Leeds fans are rightly telling West Brom where to stick it.
The reason why is clear, Marcelo Bielsa.
The Argentine has perhaps had the biggest impact on Phillips as a player. Turning him into a versatile holding midfielder, capable at centre-back, has been a masterstroke. Now, Phillips is one of the first names on the Leeds United team-sheet.
At the start of the summer, if Leeds fans were asked who the best candidate for this sort of impact might have been, most would have answered Ronaldo Vieira.
But in a show of faith to Phillips, Leeds allowed the England under-21 international to join Italian side Sampdoria. He has struggled for game time in Italy whilst Phillips is thriving at Elland Road.
Bielsa’s decision making coupled with Phillips’ aptitude for hard work has made this a winning combination. With Leeds currently occupying second spot, the hope will be he plays in the top-flight with the Whites next season.