Exclusive: Whelan drools over return of 'Fantastic' Leeds player ahead of Huddersfield
Noel Whelan claimed it is “vital” that Leeds United keep Kalvin Phillips fit for the remainder of the season after the midfielder’s impressive comeback against Hull City.
The former Whites and Coventry striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested the presence of the 24-year-old is paramount ahead of Saturday’s showdown against Huddersfield Town.
Phillips missed the 1-0 victory at Middlesbrough last Wednesday after being forced off the field against Reading on February 22 after suffering a dead leg.
The holding midfielder returned to the side on Saturday as Marcelo Bielsa’s side put four past a struggling Hull side.
Goals from Luke Ayling, Pablo Hernandez and a brace from substitute Tyler Roberts enough to move to within a point of league leaders West Brom.
When asked if there was a feeling of relief amid Phillips’ return to the side, Whelan told Football Insider: “Yes, he has that more natural ability in that area. I do not like seeing Ben White in that area.
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“To have Kalvin back in there gives more belief to everybody else that he is in that position. We saw Ayling and Dallas getting forward and that is what he brings – security. You know you can get forward because Kalvin is sitting there.
“He is very calm, his ball distribution is fantastic and he mops up everything that comes his way. Pace, power and a good football brain.
“Great to have him back and it is vital that we keep him fit.”
The Leeds-born player has been ever-present for Marcelo Bielsa when available, scoring once in 34 appearances this campaign.
Huddersfield Town travel to Elland Road this Saturday for an eagerly-anticipated Yorkshire derby.
In other Leeds United news, Danny Mills told Football Insider which Manchester City player he expects to be signed this summer in cut-price deal.