By Noel Whelan

2nd Nov, 2021 | 10:58am

Leeds employee: Bielsa has perfect Phillips replacement who's 'the one'

Noel Whelan has claimed Leeds United finally have adequate cover and competition for Kalvin Phillips with Adam Forshaw getting minutes in recent weeks.

The former Leeds striker and club ambassador, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 30-year-old is the natural replacement for the England international in midfield.

Forshaw, who was out of action for nearly two years with a hip injury, has made three appearances in Leeds’ last four games.

He came off the bench to steady the ship in the Whites’ 2-1 win over Norwich City on Sunday.

The Liverpool-born midfielder has started twice this term, in the League Cup games against Crewe and Arsenal.

Whelan admitted Leeds still need to put “a little bit of cotton wool around him”.

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However, he suggested Forshaw could fill in for Phillips when needed.

Asked if he was seeing the desired progress from Forshaw after his lengthy layoff, Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Yeah, I think so.

“We’ve still got to be mindful he’s had a really bad injury. He was out for two years, it’s not like two months.

“A little bit of cotton wool round him, just easing him in. Giving him the right amount of minutes, in the right games and situations.

“If Kalvin does suffer any more injuries, he probably is the one that you look at, to step into that role. So it’s very important that we manage him.

“I’m sure he’ll be expressing his fitness levels and how he’s feeling to the medical staff and the manager as well. It’s important that they all work together on Adam.

“Keep him fit, keep him out there on the training ground, keep him playing certain minutes of football. It will hopefully, steadily, get him back to where he was before the injury.”

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