WHEN it came to deciding upon his future after intense summer speculation, Kalvin Phillips followed both his heart and his head.
Linked with a big-money £20million-plus move throughout the close season to Aston Villa, many in Phillips’s situation could have been easily swayed, given the enticing prospect of Premier League football after United’s defeat in the play-offs.
But that did not take into account the huge emotional attachment that Phillips has to his hometown club, with the 23-year-old also coming to the conclusion that Leeds remain on the cusp of achieving something special.
Phillips, who signed a new five-year-deal earlier this week, said: “You always want to go up, but it is hard to turn away from my hometown club.
“I felt if I left, I would just be going to playing or maybe not playing.
“I am at a club where I am loved, the manager likes me and my family loves the club. I always want to be in the Premier League, but I open my eyes to the bigger picture.”
Phillips admits that coping with the intense speculation regarding his future proved difficult during parts of a testing close-season.
It prompted his decision to stay away from social media in a bid to switch off from the constant rumours regarding his future.
Phillips, preparing for tomorrow’s derby encounter at Oakwell, said: “I left the country for three weeks. I stayed off my phone. I did not want to go on social media and did not want to speak to anyone else from other clubs.
“You need to switch off when you have finished (a season). There was a lot of talk, but I spaced myself from that.
“The decision was based on how I felt. I stayed away from social media and it was one of the best decisions I have made.”