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Dean Smith’s comments on Kalvin Phillips now look like appreciation and not criticism

Aston Villa

Dean Smith’s comments on Kalvin Phillips now look like appreciation and not criticism

Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips is on Aston Villa’s shortlist for the summer.

Aston Villa have reportedly made a £14 million bid for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips. As reported by The Telegraph, the newly-promoted side are ready to swoop on Leeds following their failure to win promotion to the top flight.

It certainly puts an interesting slant on comments made by Aston Villa boss Dean Smith about Phillips from April. This came shortly after the two clubs met in a heated match at Elland Road.

 (Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images)

The game was infamous for the incident in which Mateusz Klich scored whilst Jonathan Kodjia was down injured. The bad blood eventually spilled over into a melee and both clubs did not cover themselves in glory.

Smith was also unhappy with the attention paid to his star man Jack Grealish from Phillips, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post.


“I think had a little bit of target practice on him today. He’s got a few bumps and lumps on his shins.

“Kalvin Phillips was stuck to Jack Grealish for most of the game, fouled him a few times and never got a caution for it.

“We feel a little bit aggrieved.”

 

Looking back now, in light of the interest, perhaps Smith was not disappointed but impressed by Phillips’ performance.

The Leeds man did a good job controlling one of the Championship’s best players in Grealish. As an opposing manager, it will have surely frustrated Smith. However, thinking of what Phillips could bring to his own midfield may have him thinking appreciatively.

Perhaps it was this display that has helped convince him to push for the Leeds United star.

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