COMMENT By Will Butcher
Kalvin Phillips has endured a difficult season at Elland Road in what is his first regular involvement with the Leeds first team – but it could all be over as soon as it has begun.
Team Talk claim that a £4million move for Elland Road favourite Jonny Howson is very much on the cards, after the 28-year-old failed to deliver Norwich back into the Premier League.
Former Leeds star Howson, who made a huge 219 league and cup appearances for the Yorkshire giants, would become Leeds’ first-choice midfielder in Garry Monk’s side should he join.
Likely to partner captain Liam Bridcutt or teenage star Ronaldo Vieira, Howson’s presence would mean a central midfielder would have to leave Elland Road in order to make space.
With O’Kane proving more reliable despite a painful groin injury during the Christmas period, Phillips would be the choice of Leeds’ four midfielders to leave this summer.
Breaking into the side under Monk, Phillips has caught the eye with his highlights coming in the form of the EFL young player of the month award in October, as well as his free-kick against Nottingham Forest.
However, a lack of consistency and discipline, as well as pure inexperience has seen him receive his marching orders on two occasions, with his decision making coming into serious question.
The 21-year-old has frustrated the Elland Road faithful, as he is often seen over-complicating things and looking for a Hollywood pass instead of laying the ball off and keeping things simple.
This season, Howson has had a hand in 14 goals from central midfield, scoring six of those himself while Leeds’ four midfielders have managed just two goals and eight assists between them.
With a contract until the summer of 2019, Phillips should be offloaded if Leeds do bring in Howson this summer, or indeed any other central midfielders.
In other Leeds transfer news, this English club are interested in signing a 23-year-old Leeds star.