'Outstanding...Every single game' - Exclusive: McLeish in awe of Leeds player after display
Alex McLeish has hailed Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips as “outstanding every game” he sees him.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Scotland, Rangers and Aston Villa manager hailed the 24-year-old after his second England appearance.
Phillips played alongside Harry Winks in central midfield ahead of a back three as Gareth Southgate’s side beat Wales 3-0 in a friendly at Wembley.
McLeish is a big admirer of the Leeds star and how he has progressed from the Championship into the national team.
“Is it not only because Gareth has got a short journey to go to Leeds from where he lives (Harrogate) and he’s trying to keep in with the locals?,” McLeish joked to Football Insider.
“Phillips has been outstanding, every game you see him in, you know.
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“When you see these guys getting the ball you’re excited and you see them doing something exciting, they don’t let you down.
“That’s the type of player Phillips is and these boys at Leeds have all learned the art of tracking back as well.
“It’s not just about pressing, it’s if people get beyond them they’re back at 100 miles an hour and if you don’t track back, you don’t get in Bielsa’s team, if you don’t track back, you don’t get into Guardiola’s team, Klopp’s team.
“They demand that and they will train the players to a level where they can cope with the fitness and not pick up injuries because they’re not used to that level of training.”
Phillips was transformed into a midfield anchorman by Marcelo Bielsa when he took over in 2018 and the United academy product has been a lynchpin of the team over the last two years.
He has started all four of Leeds’ Premier League matches this season in which they have made such an impact.