By Paddy Kenny

23rd Sep, 2021 | 10:00am

Leeds set for major Phillips boost as two stars set to return v West Ham - Kenny

Paddy Kenny has claimed the prospective return of Diego Llorente and Robin Koch will be a major boost for Leeds United.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites shot-stopper insisted the pair’s recovery from injury should allow Kalvin Phillips to move back into midfield.

Speaking to BBC Radio Leeds (20th September), Mateusz Klich claimed both Koch and Llorente are “very close” to returning from their respective layoffs ahead of Saturday’s clash against West Ham.

The Spaniard went off against Liverpool, while the German has not featured since the opening day of the season.

Pascal Struijk’s suspension and Luke Ayling’s injury meant Kalvin Phillips played alongside youngster Charlie Cresswell at centre-back against Fulham.

Club captain Liam Cooper was rested for the visit to Craven Cottage

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Kenny admitted Leeds would not want to lose Phillips from his midfield role for any length of time.

As such, he insisted having Koch and Llorente back would be a major boost for the Whites.

Kenny told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Listen, as a goalkeeper there’s nothing better than having a settled back four ahead of you. Especially those two centre-halves.

“It’s clear Leeds struggled last season in that area. Phillips has had to play centre-half a few times.

“That’s obviously taking him away from his position so it’s not ideal.

“So to have these players on the comeback is good news for Leeds.”

Llorente has played three times across all competitions for Leeds this season.

Meanwhile, Cooper is the only centre-back to play every minute of the Whites’ Premier League campaign so far.

In other news, Leeds United tipped to pull off midfielder signing next year as terms agreed.