Leeds United missed out on signing the ideal Kalvin Phillips replacement in Aston Villa star Morgan Sanson.

That is the view of former Villa defender Alan Hutton who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Whites needed another “box-to-box” midfielder to deputise for the 25-year-old.

Speaking to Canal+, as quoted by Leeds Live, Sanson revealed Leeds were “very interested” in his signing last summer.

A move to Elland Road failed to materialise and the 26-year-old joined Dean Smith’s men in January for an initial £14million.

The French midfielder got the chance to face his old suitors from the bench in Saturday’s 1-0 win for Villa.

Meanwhile, the Whites had to make do without midfield talisman Phillips due to a calf injury.

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As such, Hutton admitted Bielsa may have been jealous watching Sanson turn out in claret and blue at Elland Road.

Asked if Leeds could do with a Sanson-type player to fill in for Phillips, Hutton told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “Yeah, definitely.

“Obviously, I’ve watched a lot of clips of him and he does seem that type of player who can go box to box.

“He’s a number eight, he’s got a good range of passing so maybe he is that Kalvin Philips-type player and that’s why Leeds were after him. Time will tell.

“I mean, it’s difficult to really talk about Sanson. I don’t think we’ve seen him enough, in my opinion.

“I would like to see more of him before I have a big opinion on him because it’s been difficult. It’s probably difficult for him coming over to a new country.

“You need that time to settle in but he’s not really had that run of games.”

In other news, a top pundit claims teammates will be fuming with Diego Llorente behind the scenes at Leeds United.