It appears Leeds United have some good news forthcoming regarding the future of Kalvin Phillips. As reported by The Telegraph yesterday the club and their midfield talent have agreed on terms of a new five-year deal.
It comes after big-money moves from Aston Villa and Burnley were reportedly rejected for the player this summer.
But it could have all been so different. In the summer of 2018, Leeds United needed to make a sale to balance the arrival of Patrick Bamford. The striker cost a reported (Daily Mail) £7 million from Middlesbrough and Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani was looking to move a player on.
Ronaldo Vieira ended up being the sacrificial lamb. The midfielder joined the Italian side Sampdoria in a deal reported by The Guardian to be worth an initial £6.2 million.
It was a transfer that appeared to come from nowhere and, at the time, a lot of Leeds fans would have rather Phillips left and Vieira stayed.
Vieira, for some, looked the classier option. Phillips, for all his huffing and puffing, struggled to show the quality which suggested he would become a future star.
It does seem like Bielsa wanted to keep Vieira. Can’t get my head around them selling him at 20 years old. He’s only going to improve and is already miles better than Phillips
— Joe Wood (@Joe17Wood) August 3, 2018
Vieira is better now than Phillips
I like Phillips but Vieira is better imo
— Harry Cox (@hcox198) August 1, 2018
So in the last 2 seasons, we’ve let Ronaldo Vieira & Liam Bridcutt leave whilst Kalvin Phillips remains 😂😂😂😂😂 #LUFC
— Aaron Cochrane (@aaroncochrane95) August 1, 2018
Anno mate it’s blowing my mind. Vieira on his way out and Phillips in starting 11. Hope KP has turned in to Mascherano in pre season and Coops is suddenly better than Ramos
— Ashley Johnson (@AshJohnson20) July 31, 2018
People happy to sell Vieira because of one bad season yet Phillips has literally never had a good season for us yet he’s in most of their starting 11’s 🤔🤔🤔 Leeds fans for you #lufc
— Tom O’Hare (@tohare3) July 31, 2018
Should be Phillips shipping out to italy but oh well its a good move for Vieira. #Lufc
— Roberto (@Rdickinson1987) July 31, 2018
Lol, which Leeds you been watching? People are shoe horning this narrative that Phillips has been World Class this pre season. He’s been above average. Vieira is the far better player.
— Braddy D (@Deasbe) July 30, 2018
Give me Vieira over Phillips any day of the week
— Sean Kelly (@Sean_kelly17) July 30, 2018
But Marcelo Bielsa saw something special in Phillips and has built his team around the midfield lynchpin. The Argentine fine-tuned Phillips’ game throughout a transformative 2018 pre-season which also saw him playing at centre-back.
It is remarkable to think that when Vieira left last summer, plenty of Leeds fans would have rather seen Phillips go.
He is now a multi-million-pound asset tasked with guiding Leeds back to the Premier League with a new five-year deal impending.
What a tremendous turnaround from the Leeds United midfield star.