The future of Kalvin Phillips at Leeds United seems as though it’ll remain up in the air heading towards the start of the Championship season.
It has recently been reported by TEAMtalk that Aston Villa are prepared to offer Conor Hourihane, Henri Lansbury and James Bree as part of a deal to land Phillips’ signature.
In our latest FLW Spotlight, we look into what type of player Leeds would be getting if they were to strike a deal to bring Hourihane to Elland Road.
Hourihane made 43 appearances for Dean Smith’s side last season, as they won promotion to the Premier League after a win over Derby County in the Championship play-off final.
He was part of the Villa midfield that had the ideal balance alongside Jack Grealish and John McGinn.
The creativity provided from the midfield three was a real threat for Villa, and without it, it makes you question as to whether Villa would have won promotion back into the top-flight.
His statistics make for good reading as well, as he scored eight goals and was on hand to provide ten assists in last year’s promotion-winning campaign.
If Kalvin Phillips was to leave Leeds, then Bielsa would be foolish not to try and sign Hourihane in return for any potential deal between the two teams.
Phillips is a more defensive-minded midfielder, and that’s evident as he only has one goal and three assists to his name from last season, as the Whites narrowly missed out on promotion back into the Premier League.
Hourihane is an excellent passer of the ball, and he could be a real benefit to the Leeds team next term if they were to have him in their side, even ahead of the back-four.
The Irishman attempted 1821 passes last season, and with a pass success rate of 87%, it certainly makes for good reading for Hourihane, who could find his game time limited with Villa in the Premier League next season.
One weakness that Hourihane has is his aerial ability, with the 28-year-old only winning half of his aerial duels during last year’s campaign.
He’s not a versatile option to have in a team either compared to Phillips, as the Leeds midfielder can operate in midfield or in defence, which he has shown in recent seasons.
Hourihane also made 132 interceptions, so again, he has shown that is a good midfielder to have for any Championship team.
It’s been reported by The Sun, that Leeds are keen to hold onto Phillips, as they aren’t accepting any offers below their valuation of £30m.
But you would imagine that a number of Leeds supporters will be hoping that Hourihane is included in any potential deal for Phillips, as his statistics from last season show that he is more than capable of filling the sizeable void left by the 23-year-old.