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Ronaldo Vieira exit last summer truly highlights Kalvin Phillips’ Leeds United turnaround

Leeds United

Ronaldo Vieira exit last summer truly highlights Kalvin Phillips’ Leeds United turnaround

Leeds United sold Ronaldo Vieira last summer but plenty of fans would have rather seen Kalvin Phillips go.

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.

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

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.

 

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.

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