Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips has revealed that playing against Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba showed him the difference in standard between the Championship and the Premier League.
Leeds faced their cross-Pennine rivals in Perth on their pre-season tour of Australia in the summer.
Manchester United won the tie 4-0 and, speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Phillips revealed that the tie saw him matched up with one of the most difficult opponents he has ever faced.
Asked who the best players he had played against are, he said: “When we played Manchester United in pre-season, they had a lot of good players.
“Pogba didn’t look his best but you noticed the difference between Premier League and Championship level.
“He’s probably one of the best midfielders in the world.
“That was one of my toughest tests so far.”
That game appears to have given Phillips a taste of what it would be like to play against top-flight English teams week in week out, as the 23-year-old is determined to get to that level with the Whites.
He explained: “When I was younger, Leeds were in the Premier League and you could see what it meant to the fans.
“It would be a dream come true for me to be in the Premier League with this club.”
Despite a recent wobble, Leeds look well set to launch a promotion push this season and are fifth after eleven games, just two points behind league leaders West Bromwich Albion.
If reports are to be believed, Leeds received multiple offers for Phillips from Premier League sides this summer, so you feel it won’t be long before the midfielder is playing in the English top-flight.
We will have to see whether or not that is with the Yorkshire club. The 23-year-old has been very loyal to his hometown club but you can’t help but think if they don’t get promoted this season he may consider his options.
Phillips has recaptured the sterling form he showed last season and has been integral to Marcelo Bielsa’s side once again, featuring in every game in the 2019/20 campaign.