Leeds United employee: Star to be axed v Watford after '100%' Kalvin Phillips reveal
Noel Whelan has tipped Jesse Marsch to axe Mateusz Klich to bring Kalvin Phillips back into the Leeds United XI against Watford.
The former Leeds striker and club ambassador, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted it would be harsh on the 31-year-old to be dropped after impressing versus Southampton.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday (7 April), Marsch confirmed Phillips is close to “100 per cent” after his return to action from the bench last weekend.
Whelan hailed Adam Forshaw and Klich for their displays in the 1-1 draw against the Saints.
However, he claims Leeds will need Phillips’ defensive nous at Vicarage Road.
“I thought Forshaw and Klich did quite well (v Southampton),” Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.
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“The midfield was pretty solid. That was one good part of the 90 minutes that really worked. Forshaw really had a very solid game. Mateusz Klich, was back to his normal self, getting behind the lines, trying to make forward runs.
“Kalvin came on, fantastic to see him back. It’s a massive lift for the whole club and the fans knowing that Kalvin’s back in contention. Would he start away from home? I would say yes.
“Forshaw and Kalvin Phillips gives you a little bit more of a solid unit in that central midfield area, which is where I think we’re going to need it away from home.
“Neither of them (Klich or Forshaw) deserve to be out after their performance against Southampton.
“But when you’ve got the likes of Kalvin Phillips on the sidelines, it’s very difficult to not play him. If we’re playing our normal front four, we need to be a little bit more cautious about how we defend.
“Out of possession, we’re going to need two solid midfield players. When you look at Kalvin, Klich and Forshaw, there are two players there that stand out.
“For that solid unit in that central midfield area, those that can cover ground and really protect the backline, you’re looking at Forshaw and Kalvin.”