Noel Whelan believes that every successful team needs someone like Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips.
The 23-year-old has been at the heart of Marcelo Bielsa’s side this campaign and is a big reason behind their second-placed standing in the Championship with just four games to go.
He’s come through the academy at Elland Road to become a key first teamer and is eyeing automatic promotion to the Premier League with the Whites.
The Englishman is a defensive midfielder that breaks up play in front of the back four, but controls play too with his range of passing and intelligence on the ball.
BBC pundit Whelan has been blown away by the performances of Phillips under Bielsa and suggested all great sides need someone with his skills.
“Kalvin Phillips has been absolutely immense, he’s like an unsung hero,” Whelan said on the Sporting Life Football Championship podcast.
“Sometimes teams that are successful, win Championships and win Premier Leagues and trophies, need a Kalvin Phillips in that team.
“He just allows the wing-backs to get forward and gives you that peace of mind and security at the back.”
Phillips has taken his game to an entire new level under Bielsa and his presence in the Championship team of the year highlighted that.
He is an all-action central midfielder that looks ready to grace the top flight and just needs to help get his team over the line for promotion.
The enforcer has the defensive qualities to snuff out attackers and the way he can seamlessly drop into the backline mid-game is a sign of his maturity.
Leeds do have the outstanding forward players that can take the limelight, but he is the cornerstone holding the team together and his price tag has surely rocketed up.