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‘He’d launch himself into a tackle and didn’t care who it was against’ – Exclusive: Ex-Leeds midfielder shares Kalvin Phillips memories

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David Norris has been looking back on a young Kalvin Phillips at Leeds United, admitting that he has liked the midfielder since he stepped up to train with the first-team when he was on the books at Elland Road.

Leeds have built their side around Phillips, now 23, with the midfielder the club’s prized asset under Marcelo Bielsa.

Phillips has surpassed 100 appearances for his boyhood club, and this season has featured in every minute of league and cup action for the Whites.

And, Norris has always been a fan, as he admitted when we asked him what he thought of the youngster.

“Very impressed, and to be honest, I always was when I was there,” Norris told Football League World’s Chief Editor, Sam Rourke.

“He was just coming through as a young lad, but he was one of them young lads that would come and train with the first-team and you wouldn’t know any different.

“Sometimes you get a young lad coming in and they’re a little but shy and timid, but with him, he came straight in. He’s got a tackle in him and I think that’s what I remember most, he’d launch himself into a tackle and didn’t care who it was against.”

“He’s got a bit as well, and I really liked him early on.  

“This last couple of seasons he’s backed it up, he’s forced his way in and is doing really well – but, I liked him from day one.”

In his Leeds career so far, Phillips has made 146 appearances, with his debut coming just a couple of months after Norris’ departure from Leeds.

After featuring as an advanced midfielder, and in a more box-to-box role, Phillips has now settled at the base of the Leeds midfield under Bielsa, helping the Whites to 10 points from a possible 12 at the start of this season.

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