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Leeds United’s holding midfielder Kalvin Phillips has been one of the top performers for Marcelo Bielsa as they look to clinch a return to the Premier League once the action kicks off again.
Phillips has put in a host of impressive performances this season as Leeds have flown to the top of the Championship table, and with nine games left to play it looks like Leeds will finally secure top-flight status for the first time in 16 years.
Despite the links to the Premier League, it looks like Phillips could be playing Premier League football with hometown club next season. The midfielder has risen through the ranks at the club since joining as a youngster with Phillips making his debut back in 2015 in the dramatic defeat to Wolves, a moment that he has not looked back from.
He has become an integral cog in the Leeds United wheel with Bielsa finding the perfect role for the academy graduate. He is utilised ahead of the back four but just behind Pablo Hernandez and Mateusz Klich in the Leeds midfield with his outstanding ability to read the game allowing the other midfielders to stay forwards and cause problems for the opposition.
Should Phillips aid Leeds to promotion this season, the Premier League will bring a big spotlight onto the midfielder with millions of people watching his team week in, week out.
Here are TWO facts about Leeds United’s number 23 that you might not know…
Trials with rivals
Phillips has become a role model to those in the Leeds United academy and has shown that there can be progression from the U18s and U23s into the first team. He has become a bit of a cult hero amongst the Leeds United fans as they have given him the nickname of the ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’, but the midfielder’s career could well have gone very differently.
Despite being part of a family that were all massive Leeds United fans, Phillips had a trial with West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town before he would sign with his beloved Leeds. However, due to his connections with Leeds he decided that he did not fancy turning out for Huddersfield Town. Just a few weeks later he would go on to sign for Leeds United and never looked back.
Told to not pursue a career in football
Not many people get the opportunity to make a living for themselves through playing football at a professional level, that was the message that Phillips’ teachers relayed to him whilst he just a schoolboy. Upon being offered a scholarship with Leeds, his school wrote a letter to his parents threatening to not sanction the midfielder’s move to his beloved club.
Eventually he was allowed to join Leeds and has gone on to make a great start to his professional carer as he is on course to become a Premier League footballer and with rumours of an England call up on the horizon, it looks like it was a good choice for Phillips to pursue a career in football.
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