Exclusive: Bent issues Leeds warning after watching Phillips display
It’s “going to be tough” for Leeds United to replace Kalvin Phillips in the event of injury or suspension — but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try.
That is according to former England goalscorer Darren Bent, speaking exclusively to Football Insider as Phillips returned to the starting XI in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Newcastle.
The 25-year-old tempo-setting midfielder was suspended for the Whites previous match, a 1-0 defeat at home to Brighton.
Leeds played Pascal Struijk in his position and the Dutchman struggled to replicate his teammate’s influence, raising the question of what the Whites would do without the four-time England international.
Bent believes that it would be sensible thinking for Marcelo Bielsa to invest in someone who can fill in for Phillips in the event that he is sidelined or leaves the club.
“Replacing Phillips, it’s going to be very, very tough,” he told Football Insider.
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“But it’s about getting players in the door.
“I think they need a bit more squad depth, so if they can get someone in who can subsidise when Kalvin Phillips is out injured or suspended, then I’m all for that.
“It’s good to have a big squad, it’s good to have squad rotation. It would be a positive to get good players in the door for Leeds.”
Philips has been with Leeds since he was 15 years old, joining the academy in 2010 and graduating to the senior squad five years later.
Since then, he has played 192 times for the club, scoring 12 goals and performing an absolutely integral role in their 2019-20 Championship promotion season.