Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa looks like having a battle on his hands with Aston Villa launching a £14million bid for star midfielder Kalvin Phillips, after a breakthrough season at Elland Road, as reported by The Telegraph.
The move could impact on Villa star John McGinn’s standing within the starting XI, with former England and Leeds full-back Danny Mills suggesting on Football Insider that the arrival of Phillips at Villa Park could see McGinn dropping down the pecking order.
So is Mills right to suggest Phillips is a better option than McGinn at Villa?
“I think it’s incredibly hard to call between the two.
“Both players had outstanding seasons last campaign, and will play a key role for their sides again in the upcoming campaign.
“I don’t think either set of fans would swap their man for the other if given the chance, but ultimately it is McGinn who ended up as the promotion winner last season, and that just about gives him the edge for me.”
“It’s a close one, but Phillips edges it due to his superior defensive qualities.
“McGinn is a great box-to-box midfielder but he doesn’t specialise in any particular department. He is a great player to have at Championship/Premier League level but it is difficult to pinpoint the main strength of his game.
“Phillips meanwhile is an excellent modern day holding midfielder. He keeps Leeds ticking over but he also covers every blade of grass on the pitch – a job he could do at Premier League also.
“No, I don’t.
“I like both players, they’re a bit different in their nature though I feel.
“McGinn, although he plays deep, can operate further forward with ease.
“Phillips is a bit more of a ‘one-trick’ pony.
“I prefer McGinn. He’s got real quality on the ball and is as composed as they come.”
“I’m not sure I agree here, as they’re both very good players.
“Phillips was outstanding for Leeds last season and transformed into one of the best midfielders in the Championship.
“You cannot underestimate his importance to the way Leeds play.
“Then again, McGinn was sensational for Aston Villa too and played a key role in their promotion.
“Phillips is obviously a lot more defensive minded so it’s difficult to compare the players, but they are just as important to their side as each other.”
“It’s a difficult one.
“Both players have different attributes to their game, and if I had to choose one to have in my side, then it would be McGInn.
“Phillips’ defensive side of the game is better than McGInn’s, but I just think that McGinn has the edge overall, as shown by the Scotsman playing a starring role for Aston Villa in their promotion last season.”