Danny Mills Exclusive: I fear 'most influential' Leeds player will quit
Danny Mills has revealed his fear that Leeds United’s failure to secure promotion would spark the departure of home-grown star Kalvin Phillips.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United defender hailed the central midfielder as Leeds’ “most influential” player and one who will be alerting Premier League clubs.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side’s chances of ending their 15-year stay in the Football League depends upon winning the end-of-season play-offs ahead of Derby County, Aston Villa and West Brom.
Midfield anchorman Phillips has been an integral member of the side transformed by Bielsa and Mills is in no doubt about his calibre and potential.
“He has been Leeds’ player of the season,” Mills told Football Insider. “Sometimes, it’s not about being the best, but it’s about being the most influential. Holding midfielder is a crucial role in a team like Leeds who push the full-backs forward and attack.
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“Kalvin Phillips has a huge role to the play in the play-offs. He has showed an awful lot of good things about his game this season and he will need to continue that.
“Without a doubt, his future depends on the outcome. I’m pretty sure there will be Premier League clubs who will be interested in him. If Leeds don’t go up, the fear is, will he stay? Will the manager stay? This is why it’s so big for Leeds.”
Phillips, 23, is out of contract in 2021 and, as revealed by Football Insider, Leeds are eager to tie him to a new deal at the end of the campaign.
He has made 44 starts in all competitions this season and 139 appearances in total for United since graduating from their academy ranks.
In other Leeds United news, Burnley have set their sights on a Whites ace as contract talks are set to begin.