Exclusive: Darren Bent 'surprised' CL giants have not yet signed 'Leeds best player'
Darren Bent has expressed his surprise that Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips has not been snapped up by Tottenham.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Spurs striker hailed Phillips as “brilliant” and believes he is good enough to follow Jack Clarke down to the runners-up in last season’s Champions League.
The 23-year-old had the best season of his career after Marcelo Bielsa took over as manager last summer and his future is up in the air amid a contract stalemate with the club.
Multiple Premier League clubs are keen on signing Phillips this summer, with Aston Villa already having an approach knocked back, Wolves and Bournemouth also keen, and Tottenham keeping an eye on his situation.
“That’s what Spurs do, you look at the core of their team – young English players – and they’ve done that since I went there,” Bent exclusively told Football Insider. “They’ve always done it and I don’t think they’re going to come away from that.
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“They’re really good at spotting young, English talent, ones they believe can go far in the game and Clarke’s another one. He really excelled last season.
“I’d say in that Leeds side there was a couple of other players Spurs might well have looked at before him to sign such as Kalvin Phillips. For me their best player.
“I’m surprised already someone like Tottenham’s not come and got him. For me he was Leeds’ best player, as a young player, I thought he was brilliant, exceptional. I think he’s ready for that Premier League step up.”
Like Clarke, Phillips is a product of the prolific Leeds academy that has produced a number of Premier League players in recent years, most notably Lewis Cook at Bournemouth, Charlie Taylor at Burnley and Sam Byram, who moved from West Ham to Norwich City yesterday.
The midfield anchorman has two years remaining on his United contract and supporters are fretting over whether he will still be at the club after the window shuts.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED the £40,000-a-week Leeds stars key to Phillips failing to agree new deal.