Leeds United have ensured that this international break is a happy one for their supporters with the club announcing on their official website that Kalvin Phillips has signed a new five-year contract at Elland Road.
And it appears that the Whites are not done with the negotiating table just yet. TEAMtalk has reported that talks are set to begin with both Stuart Dallas and Mateusz Klich now that Phillips’s future has been resolved.
Like Phillips, both Dallas and Klich have looked transformed under Marcelo Bielsa. And few fans could suggest that either did not deserve fresh terms.
It is a smart move to open talks with both players. And it is a move which suggests that Leeds have learned from previous mistakes.
It was just over a month ago that the Daily Mail reported that Leeds had agreed a £7 million deal to sell Kemar Roofe to Anderlecht as he entered the final year of his contract.
While Eddie Nketiah’s arrival and Patrick Bamford’s form has softened the blow, Leeds must have felt that they had little choice but to let the striker go due to his contract situation.
History may no longer end up repeating itself
And Roofe has not been the only player to leave with a cloud lingering over his contract situation in recent years. Chris Wood joined Burnley after rejecting a new deal at Leeds in 2017 (via Yorkshire Evening Post).
Sam Byram joined West Ham when his contract had six months left (via Telegraph), and Charlie Taylor also headed to Turf Moor when his deal expired.
Leeds, under various owners, have been backed into a corner on a number of occasions down the years. But they appear to have learned from those painful lessons.
Phillips’s future should only become an issue if Leeds fail to get promoted this season. Meanwhile, Dallas’s and Klich’s situations look set to be addressed before they can become any kind of saga.
Of course, contracts do not guarantee stability. Phillips will surely not be a Leeds player for five years if their top flight exile continues. But the new deals are statements of intent.
They show that the key players are excited about the direction the club is heading in. Phillips, Dallas and Klich have been stalwarts this term under Bielsa, so getting them tied down sends out an important message.
And after seeing a number of their players exploit their contract situations to get moves away, Leeds fans should perhaps be cautiously excited that the club appear determined to make sure that history does not repeat itself.