Noel Whelan has told BBC Radio Leeds (broadcast on 22/11; 18:35) that Kalvin Phillips was excellent in Leeds United’s draw with Arsenal on Sunday.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side were handed a big boost ahead of the clash with the Gunners. Rodrigo was back available and Phillips was deemed fit enough to start at Elland Road.
Leeds produced a much better performance. The Whites had lost their previous two games 4-1. But they had the better of their clash with Mikel Arteta’s side.
They hit the post and bar on a number of occasions and played some excellent football. And Whelan suggested that having Phillips back in the middle of the park was crucial to their much-improved display.
“He was excellent by the way,” he told BBC Radio Leeds. “You could see the benefit of him being in the side, how much more compact we are. How much more attacking we are because he steps into things, wins the second ball.
“He’s in the right place at the right time. He reads the game like nobody else can do in that position.”
TBR View: Leeds a different side with Phillips
Leeds certainly looked a lot stronger defensively with Phillips in front of the backline. Like many of his teammates, he is incredibly composed on the ball in and around his own box.
But his positioning was also outstanding. Arsenal were made to work incredibly hard to try and create anything through the middle. And Phillips was key to that.
Leeds will certainly be hoping that the injury that temporarily kept Phillips down in the second-half is nothing serious. He appeared to recover quickly and finish the game reasonably comfortably.
But it will surely be a relief for Whites supporters should they hear in the coming days that Phillips is indeed fine and will be available to face Everton next Saturday.