By Paddy Kenny

14th Jul, 2021 | 1:12pm

Leeds may be about to take 'massive risk' on Phillips - Paddy Kenny

Kalvin Phillips “probably could” start the season opener against Man United but it would be a “massive risk” for Leeds United to take.

That is according to ex-Republic of Ireland international Paddy Kenny, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the 25-year-old midfielder who starred for England at the Euros.

Phillips started every match for Gareth Southgate’s vanquished finalists and missed just 25 minutes of action across the entire tournament.

Leeds will play friendlies against Guiseley, Blackburn Rovers and Fleetwood Town before they face Man United on 14th August.

And Kenny urged Leeds to resist the temptation to use Phillips in the curtain-raiser against their fierce rivals at Old Trafford.

He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “He needs a rest. Have you seen some of his running stats for the tournament? They are Ridiculous.

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“He’s an unbelievably fit player. But I think after losing the final, mentally, he’ll need a break.

“It’s a massive risk for any player that’s been involved in the Euros to come straight back in. You’re risking injury, either later on or at the start of the season.

“You’ve got to look at the bigger picture, you can rest him and have him for the rest of the season or rush him for the start of the season and he gets an injury that rules him out for ages.

“It’s not just the game time that tires you out, it’s being stuck in their bubble, stuck in the hotel. It’s hard.

“I used to go away for 10 days with Ireland and you get back and you’re drained. You’ve been travelling and training and stuck in a hotel. It is demanding.

“So for me, he definitely needs a break. Don’t get me wrong, he is fit and they probably could take that risk and play him if they wanted to.

“But at the end of the day, you want him to be a key player again for Leeds like he has been for England for the rest of the season.

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