EXCLUSIVE

Noel Whelan says that West Brom midfielder Romaine Sawyers is the second-best midfield enforcer in the Championship behind Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds striker and Championship expert says that the Baggies’ 27-year-old has looked like a wonderful signing after arriving from Brentford and that he is a player he would have liked to see at Elland Road.

The former Walsall star, who left West Brom back in 2013 before returning, has established himself as a mainstay in Slaven Bilic’s starting XI this season, playing every minute of the Championship campaign so far.

Whelan says that 27-year-old Sawyers would be his second-choice midfielder behind Phillips in the whole of the second tier and that he could replace Leeds’ star if the 23-year-old was ever to leave Elland Road.

Whelan told Football Insider: “He’s a player if we ever lost Kalvin, I’d like to see him come to Leeds. They’ve got him at a snip.

“He would probably be the second choice in that defensive area for me in the Championship. Loved watching him at Brentford, very calm on the ball, very much like a Kalvin Phillips kind of player.

“Someone who has experience at Championship level. He’ll be that player, like Kalvin, that breaks attacks up, great reading of the game, he was a great signing.” 

Sawyers has 133 games of Championship experience under his belt with Brentford and now West Brom, having played 136 times in League One early in his career.

Phillips meanwhile is closing in on 150 appearances for Leeds, 136 of those coming in the Championship and the play-offs, with Sunday’s clash against Barnsley likely to see him hit the milestone appearance.

In other Leeds United news, Darren Bent has told Football Insider that he thinks there are some double standards from the FA after recent developments at Elland Road.