Good Morning. It's Monday 30th March, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
Kalvin Phillips - I want to spend the rest of my career at Leeds
In a recent interview, Kalvin Phillips has revealed that he wants to spend the rest of his career at Elland Road. The tough tackling 24 year old, dubbed the 'Yorkshire Pirlo' has gone from strength to strength under Bielsa's reign; catching the attention not only of Premiership Clubs, but England Manager Gareth Southgate!
I want to spend my career at Leeds and see the club doing well in the Premier League. I’m just enjoying every minute right now. We’ve massively improved in this campaign, we’re a lot more experienced. We went through a bad patch at the wrong time last season and then lost in the play-offs. It was tough but it has helped us.
Phillips admitted that he is reaping the rewards of playing in his now familiar anchor role, but was initially disappointed that his gaffers plans to play him there.
I was surprised at first. The season before he arrived, I’d scored seven goals, so I was a bit confused and disappointed when he spoke to me. I could hardly say no, though, could I? Especially given his track record of improving players. He saw something in me and offered to teach me how to play a different role. I’ve adapted well, although he’s never completely satisfied! He’s always saying I can improve. That can be frustrating when you think you’ve played well but those are the standards he sets.
We’re probably the fittest team in the league — that’s important to him. He’s on our case all the time, checking weight and conditioning and demanding we always give absolutely everything in training. Honestly, if someone from outside came in and saw what he had us doing for pre-season, they’d think he was crazy. But we’re in a strong position because of it. Leeds brought him in to coach the club but he has had a big effect on the whole city. He wants to do Leeds proud.
Gunners shot stopper continuous to be on ER radar
Leeds are believed to be lining up a bid for Gunners shot stopper Emiliano Martinez. This is not the first time the 27 year old Argentine has been linked to a move to West Yorkshire. Word has it, Leeds were knocked back in 2018, and again in the January transfer window in favour of Reading. Martinez signed with the North London club back in 2012, and has been out on loan ever since. In fact, in eight years the 6ft, 5in colossus has only enjoyed a handful of games for his parent club.
With Casilla's future up in the air following his racism trial, French U20 International Illan Meslier has kept a clean sheet between the sticks, but with a 5m price tag, could the Whites be looking for a cheaper alternative? Perhaps Messrs Bielsa and Orta believe that, at 20yo Melier would be too young and inexperienced for the top flight? Are Casilla's days numbered at ER? Is £5m for Meslier a big gamble for Leeds?
Ayala wants Leeds switch
Boro defender Daniel Ayala is keen to join Leeds in the Summer when his contract runs out. The 29 year old has made it clear of his desire to leave the Riverside and will become a free agent once the 2019/20 season comes to an end. With Ben White returning to Brighton, could the 6ft 3in former Liverpool and Savilla centre back be a ready replacement? There is believed to be a host of clubs interested in the Spaniards services, but a move to Elland Road would be favourable as Ayala is keen to work with Bielsa!
Premier league's TV Mega event good news for Leeds
The Premier League a developing plans for clubs to fulfil the remaining 92 Premier league fixtures. The plan would be to have isolated “World Cup-style” camps situated in the midlands and London, and televise the matches across June and July. Al matches would be behind closed doors. As a complete lockdown is looking increasingly more likely, the TV Mega event has drawn increased support from the government as they believe it may help lower the tension. Surely if this goes ahead, it will be fantastic news for Leeds. If the Premier League have fulfilled their fixtures, three clubs have to be relegated. If clubs are relegated, then surely clubs have to be promoted!