This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Leeds United have enjoyed a solid start to the new Championship season which will be encouraging for fans, and they will also have been pleased to hear that contract talks with star-midfielder Kalvin Phillips are progressing well, as reported by The Athletic’s Leeds United Q&A (August 15) with respected journalist Phil Hay.
Phillips played a vital part in the Whites’ third place finish in the league last season, that led to considerable transfer speculation regarding the 23-year-old over the summer.
So how big a boost will it be if Phillips signs a new deal at Elland Road?
“It is a little boost but until it’s confirmed they shouldn’t be celebrating.
“I am sure news would have emerged that contract talks were going well with Kemar Roofe at one point and look how that turned out.
“In the world of Leeds you can never take anything for granted so until the deal is done, I would not be celebrating at all.”
“This is huge for Leeds and if they get this over the line then it can be considered a successful summer despite the departures of Kemar Roofe and Pontus Jansson.
“Phillips renewing should end any interest in him and allow him to focus solely on his football and the task at hand at Leeds, as well as being a big lift to everyone at the club.
“He is pivotal to this Leeds team and has started the season well. There are few players like him and he would be very difficult to replace, which is why it is excellent business to tie him down for a few more years.
“It also sends out a statement to the Leeds squad and potential targets that this is an ambitious team, and that should offer encouragement that this team will reach the Premier League.”
“Keeping him in the summer was one thing, but the long-term aim had to be tying Phillips down to fresh terms, so this is brilliant, brilliant news for Leeds.
“There’s no denying his quality and importance to the side, with the 23-year-old proving that in the opening three games of this season.
“He deserves the top contract at Elland Road, and Leeds seem to be making good progress in getting that sorted for him.
“By the time January comes about, this could be a very big moment.”