Leeds United: The shocking statistic which underlines Kalvin Phillips's importance to Marcelo Bielsa's side

Leeds United suffered their fourth defeat in eight Premier League games on Saturday afternoon, in a loss which further underlined the importance of Kalvin Phillips to Marcelo Bielsa's side.

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The Whites were beaten 1-0 at Southampton courtesy of Armando Broja's first Premier League goal as Leeds lost for ninth time in 11 games without Phillips in the side.

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The Leeds academy graduate was out with a calf injury which also forced him to miss international duty with England.

KALVIN PHILLIPS: Was unavailable for Leeds United's trip to Southampton on Saturday. Picture: Getty Images.

Since the start of the 2020-21 season, Bielsa's men have managed to pick up just six points from the 33 on offer in Phillips's absence.

As well as Saturday's defeat on the south coast, Phillips was only fit enough to be named on the bench as the Whites were beaten 5-1 by Manchester United on the opening day of the season.

The only games Leeds have won without Phillips came against Aston Villa and Southampton last season.

Although Leeds clearly struggle without the England international in the heart of midfield, Bielsa had plenty more injury and unavailability concerns to deal with on Saturday.

MANAGER: Marcelo Bielsa. Picture: Getty Images

Junior Firpo, Luke Ayling, Robin Koch, Raphinha and Patrick Bamford were also unable to take part in Southampton, leaving six players who would more than often be named in the starting line-up.

“It was a fair result, we didn’t play well in any moment in the game,” reflected Bielsa following the defeat on the south coast.

“It is not common to miss six players but the team that started the game was formed of players that usually play.

“We were in condition to play a more even game and thought we could dominate and impose ourselves. That is clearly not what happened.

“To ignore the absentees would not be logical but with the players we counted on, we were in conditions to play a more even game and to take forward our style.”

There are plenty of problems for Bielsa to solve this season as he looks to help Leeds rediscover their brilliant form from last term, and finding a way to cope without Phillips is one of them.