Kalvin Phillips: Five potential landing spots for Leeds United’s high-profile England midfielder

KALVIN PHILLIPS - the heartbeat of a Leeds United side who have wowed audiences over the past few years - has become a name not just well known across the United Kingdom, but Europe as well.

More especially after his outstanding performances in Euro 2020 for England

The midfielder, who turns 26 in December, is still a few years away from his peak.

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Leeds followers desperately hope that his high-yield years will be played out at his hometown club, but his form will have been resonating in high-power boardrooms elsewhere at some of the biggest names in the game alongside Leeds.

Could Liverpool come in for Kalvin Phillips sof Leeds United ( Picture: Tony Johnson)

Talk is of a potential big-money bid in January to test United’s resolve. There’s a few potential runners and riders.

Liverpool

Jordan Henderson may have signed a new deal relatively recently, but the midfielder, who turns 32 next summer, has no obvious heir apparent at Anfield.

Naby Keita has under-whelmed and Kalvin Phillips would fit into Liverpool’s age bracket and profile in terms of prospective signings.

Kalvin Phillips with Leeds United at Manchester United where he has already been linked (Picture: Tony Johnson)

He is high-energy, accomplished and constructive in possession and has few peers when it comes to regaining possession.

Fit, athletic, good on the ball, he looks a prototype Jurgen Klopp player in many respects and is a modern-day midfielder.

Could Liverpool - with FSG currently keeping the purse strings fairly tight - afford him? That’s maybe the question.

Manchester City

Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

Pep Guardiola trusts Marcelo Bielsa intimately. A ‘magical man’, he once famously called him.

He knows enough about Marcelo Bielsa and Kalvin Phillips to know that the Leeds United midfielder has been schooled by the best, is approaching his prime and is very much the real deal.

Manchester City manager Guardiola will also be mindful of the fact that Fernandinho is right at the tail end of his career at the top level at 36.

While Henderson is in the autumn of his career, Fernandinho is in the winter. And money is certainly no object to City.

Leeds United fan favourite Kalvin Phillips (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

Reports have gone so far as to suggest that Guardiola has told City’s board to sign Phillips as a “first-rate positional midfielder to replace Fernandinho” whose contract ends in summer of 2022 - with a view on the Leeds man competing with Spain star Rodri, 25, in City’s midfield.

A side who regularly compete on all fronts at the business end of seasons, it is easy to see how Phillips would be of value to City.

Manchester United.

Here’s the ‘elephant in the room.’

Yes, Marcelo Bielsa has said he doesn’t believe Kalvin Phillips would leave the club for a rival - and cut the connection with his hometown club - amid recent links to United, the bitter enemy from across the Pennines.

Given the fact that the Red Devils have more financial power than arguably any other top-flight rival apart from City - and are perceived by many to be arguably the biggest name in football, can it be totally taken as red that they are no longer an option?

The big deficiency in Manchester United’s squad - a cavernous one - remains in the holding role in central midfield.

Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic have failed to nail down a regular place in their side and Phillips would provide an obvious answer. Not that they are likely to get any encouragement from the Leeds end. But money can talk.

Chelsea

Here’s another club who have traditional enmity with Leeds and a move here would also go down exceedingly badly with Whites followers.

As with the situation with Liverpool and City, Chelsea are conscious of the fact that their own midfield general in N’golo Kante is not in the first flush of youth either.

He turns 31 in March and for all his brilliance, players in their thirties, more especially in the engine room, can sometimes be more susceptible to injury, while their workloads must be watched.

Kalvin Phillips would offer Thomas Tuchel three precious qualities. Versatility, energy and an ability to retain possession. He would be well suited to the high-pressing, high possession-based game that Chelsea play.

Kalvin Phillips also excels in winning the ball back when it is lost. Something that Tuchel puts a great premium upon.

It would be easy to see why Chelsea might be interested in Kalvin Phillips.

Arsenal

Let’s face it, few players have convinced in the engine room over a number of years at Arsenal and it is common refrain that the Gunners lack fight, physicality, consistency and quality in the heart of their midfield.

Talk of that is as inevitable as leaves on the line in autumn.

Arsenal, who have fallen behind their rivals in recent years, are desperately trying to be treated seriously again.

The signings of Aaron Ramsdale and someone who Kalvin Phillips knows well from his time at Leeds in Ben White have already arrived at the Emirates Stadium suggesting that the club are moving towards a more domestic-orientated transfer policy after being let down by too many inconsistent signings from the continent perhaps.

Like Chelsea, it would be easy to see why Arsenal might be interested in Kalvin Phillips.