Kalvin Phillips remains a Leeds United player for now and has been in action today against Manchester United in a pre-season friendly in Australia.
Leeds are standing firm over their in-demand midfield man, with Aston Villa keen. Recently, TEAMtalk have reported that the newly-promoted Premier League side are offering a pick of their players as part of the package.
With reports surrounding Phillips failing to go away, we take a look in this latest FLW Six Pointer…
Firstly, break down the reported deal Aston Villa have on the table for Phillips?
“TEAMtalk suggest that Villa will give Leeds the pick of a few players as part of any deal for Phillips.
“Conor Hourihane, who was a regular last season, is one man named in report, whilst Henri Lansbury and James Bree also get name-checked after bit-part roles in last season’s promotion.
“It doesn’t appear that Leeds aren’t too keen on the deal and they hope to tie Phillips down to fresh terms at Elland Road, but it is certainly an interesting offer to weigh up.”
Is that a fair trade in your eyes?
“Probably not and it sort of insults Leeds in terms of just how important Phillips is.
“Villa are offering two players who have hardly kicked a ball in two-and-a-half years at Villa Park and Conor Hourihane, who admittedly did have a big impact last season.
“However, Hourihane’s impact wasn’t even close to John McGinn or Jack Grealish, which makes me think that this isn’t a suitable offer for Leeds.”
Which of the Villa trio would Leeds see as a direct Phillips replacement?
“Out of Lansbury and Hourihane it would have to be the latter.
“He anchored the Villa midfield last season, allowing McGinn and Grealish to get themselves forward.
“He’s a different type of player to Phillips, but he’s still very good on the ball and brings a lot of international quality.
“The Irishman would be the one I could see anchoring the Leeds midfield.”
What would Hourihane bring in comparison to a player like Phillips?
“Phillips is a defensive midfielder in every sense; he drops into the defence on occasion and very rarely brings much in terms of the attacking side of the game.
“Hourihane is different in many ways expect his position.
“The 28-year-old was involved in 19 goals last season – eight goals and 11 assists – bagging against Leeds in Villa’s 3-2 defeat and in the play-off semi-final first leg.
“Phillips struck just one goal and three assists last season, with his role very much a defensive one, whereas Hourihane was Villa’s midfield anchor, but he brought much more in terms of goals and assists.”
How will the Leeds fans be feeling about any potential deal here?
“Losing Phillips would still be a sickening blow for Leeds and one that supporters would fume over.
“Of course, landing Hourihane – and maybe even Lansbury and Bree – would cushion the blow, but then you’re losing out on a massive amount of money coming in.
“There are pros and cons, but it wouldn’t sit well with many.”
Finally, do you see it happening?
“In one word, no.
“Phillips might still leave Leeds this summer, but not in a swap deal for Hourihane, Lansbury or Bree. It just doesn’t feel like Leeds’ style in this current regime.
“If Andrea Radrizzani sells Phillips from under Marcelo Bielsa’s feet, the Argentine is going to want the money to reinvest back into his playing squad and recruit a proper replacement.
“Even though Hourihane has traits that suggest he’s a good replacement, he doesn’t do enough defensively to replace the 23-year-old.
“Nevertheless, Leeds could do with reaching some form of closure with Phillips.”