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This article is part of Football League World’s ‘What does the future hold?’ series, this content strand is where we evaluate and subjectively debate a player’s future at their current club…
Kalvin Phillips has been a crucial part of Leeds United’s title surge this season as they look to end a 16 year wait for Premier League football.
The Leeds Untied academy graduate has put in numerous performances at the very top level this season as his side sit top of the Championship table with just nine games left to play. But the uncertainty as to whether the 2019/2020 season will be completed following the enforced break has thrown up questions regarding those clubs fighting for promotions and relegations.
Should the season be allowed to continue under the same circumstances as there were before the postponements of games, Leeds will feel that they have a great chance of winning promotion. They sit seven points clear of Fulham who occupy third place with the London side yet to visit Elland Road for a promotion six-pointer. If the season is to continue, it is highly likely that Leeds will end their wait for a return to the Premier League, but the question will come over the future of some of their stars.
Phillips was brought up in a family of Leeds United supporters which has quickly earned him an affinity with the rest of the club’s fanbase which could play a huge factor in whether he remains in West Yorkshire or not. Should Leeds get promoted at the end of the season then it would make sense for him to stay at Elland Road and prove himself at the top level of English football.
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Phillips has seen his influence on the Leeds side this season increased with his responsibilities in front of the defence being crucial in Marcelo Bielsa’s system as he allows the more creative players to remain high up the pitch. This influence has beckoned the possibilities of a call up to the senior England squad with Gareth Southgate reportedly watching the midfielder ahead of the March international friendlies which were subsequently postponed. England have been crying out for a player like Phillips in recent years as a lot of the midfielders coming into the senior squad possessing more creative qualities.
One downside to Phillips getting an England call-up for Leeds is that he will attract the interest of a lot more clubs, but interest in their midfielder is certainly not uncommon for the West Yorkshire side. This season alone, numerous clubs have been linked with a move for Leeds United’s number 23 including arch-rivals Manchester United.
Should the season be voided, and Leeds remain in the Championship for the 2020/2021 season then this will just be the beginning of the rumours. Although it has become obvious that he will want to make that step up to the Premier League with his hometown club, circumstances off the grass could take that decision out of his hands. He has proved that he is a top defensive midfielder in the Championship and will have ambitions to test himself at the highest level.
But Phillips has recently signed a deal with Leeds running until the summer of 2024 which will give Leeds a huge advantage when it comes to commanding a fee or keeping him around should they not win promotion this season. It is certainly easy to see why a host of Premier League clubs are interested in the midfielder and should he win an England cap, his value whilst at Leeds United is likely to skyrocket, but that might not put off clubs like Manchester United.
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