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This week has all been about the club’s centenary celebrations; civic receptions, gala dinners and club legends paraded around the pitch before Saturday’s game. Most of which Kalvin Phillips missed due to illness. After a week of celebrating our great club and city it’s only fitting that local lad and heartbeat of the side Kalvin Phillips was the one to seal the points. Born in Wortley, Phillips progressed through Wortley FC and for a short while at Farsley Celtic. He attended the Farnley Academy and graduated in 2012, continuing through the Leeds United youth teams signing his first professional contract in the summer of 2014. He became one of Neil Redfearn's brightest stars along with Alex Mowatt and Lewis Cook as they progressed through the Academy and on to first team recognition.
He was first called up to the first team squad on 4th January 2015 for the FA Cup Third Round tie with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light but had to settle for being unused on the bench. His first appearances on the bench in the League came at Wigan Athletic on 7th March 2015 and a week later for the home game with Nottingham Forest, in both games he remained an unused sub. But on Easter Monday he was picked for the starting line-up against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux and he played a full game, unfortunately United went down 3-4. He was retained for the following fixture at home to Cardiff City, and he scored the Leeds goal in the seventeenth minute, before giving way to Steve Morison in the sixty-fourth minute.
While often included in the first team squad in the 2015-16 season, he spent much of the time on the bench, with only a few minutes action to show for his time there. He was given the number twenty-three jersey for the 2016-17 season. Throughout the season there had been a battle between Phillips, Liam Bridcutt, Ronaldo Vieira and Eunan O'Kane for the two defensive midfield spots and he finished the season starting twenty-three and being a used substitute ten times in League games. He was a regular in midfield in the 2017-18 season. He started thirty-six League games and came on as a substitute in five. He found the net more regularly, scoring seven in the League for the season.
With the advent of Marcelo Bielsa, and his conversion to a true defensive midfielder the ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’ became one of the vital cogs in his team, it’s ticking heartbeat. The 2018-19 season saw him play his one hundredth Leeds game at Swansea City on 21st August 2018 and performances since Bielsa’s arrival have meant Phillips has been mentioned for England honours. Phillips is the one player in the team who represents the city and epitomises what being a Leeds United player is all about. As Marcelo Bielsa said in his post match press conference, “Sometimes God puts things in the right place”. In this instance that thing was Kalvin Phillips.
Kalvin Phillips vs Birmingham City
80.4% Pass Accuracy
2 Chances created
7 Tackles (Most)
9 Ball Recoveries (Most)
3 Defensive Aerial Duels
Stats from FocusOnLeeds
Philipps has been a top player now for sometime . He insticinly will want to push on up but ... Marcelo calls it so we'll see .
Imagine Kelvin getting some more goals this season he deserves with his efforts for the team.