Whilst Pablo Hernandez may take on the role of creative talisman for Leeds United, there is no doubting that Kalvin Phillips is the conductor of the orchestra. The maestro in defensive midfield, setting the tempo of the game, ensuring all the performers in Marcelo Bielsa’s concerto follow the same metrical rhythm. Be it his short passing game or the long balls, Phillips has been a master at guiding the ensemble around the pitch. Winning the ball back, dictating play, directing the symphony to the joy of an admiring crowd.
Leeds United have now confirmed Phillips has put pen to paper on a new contract at Leeds United, an improved five-year deal which will see him amongst the top earners at the club, and deservedly so for one of the best performers over the past two seasons. The new contract will provide Leeds with a bit of security over a player who was the subject of bids from several clubs this summer including offers rumoured to be in excess of £15m from Aston Villa. With two years left on his contract Leeds were in a position to refuse the offers, next summer with only a year left on his contract is could have been a different story.
A release clause is likely included if Leeds do not win promotion. A product of the Thorp arch academy, Phillips may have Leeds United in is heart but his is an ambitious young man who on recent form will go far in the game and will not want to languish in the Championship for too many more seasons. But the new contract gives Leeds the security of having Phillips for the whole season, a season where they will look to push on for automatic promotion to the Premier League. Hopefully promotion will be won and Phillips will have a long and successful career at his hometown club.
Marcelo Bielsa moved Phillips into a new role and the 23-year-old has improved beyond all recognition under his tutelage into one of the best defensive midfielders in England. Last month, Bielsa praised Phillips professionalism during a summer of speculation surrounding his future…
Kalvin was an example for everyone. In a context that is very professional, with a lot of the speculation which is not good, Kalvin is showing us that you can be a big player, a good player and at the same time respect the values that is very difficult to find. He deserves all the good things in the personal life because he teaches us how you can live professional life in football without forgetting about yourself, but keeping the behaviour in the right way.
Many fans questioned Leeds United’s transfer activity over the summer but they flat out refused offers for Pablo Hernandez and Kalvin Phillips, perhaps the most important business of the summer. With Phillips conducting the concerto the likes of Hernandez are free to play the solo parts, create the chances and score the goals. The nickname of ‘The Yorkshire Pirlo’ may have been tongue in cheek but it is not so far from the truth, his vision, creativity and passing ability are key to directing Leeds United’s promotion push this season.