By Kevin Campbell

1st Dec, 2021 | 7:00am

Phillips given 'slap on the wrist' by Bielsa and 'words exchanged' during 'nightmare' Leeds fall-out - pundit

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has “exchanged words” with Kalvin Phillips.

That is the view of former Premier League striker Kevin Campbell, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about a potential “slap on the wrist” for Phillips, 25.

Leeds’ talismanic midfielder was withdrawn after 45 minutes of the goalless draw at Brighton on Saturday.

Phillips was replaced by Pascal Struijk for tactical reasons, as opposed to injury.

Speaking on Monday (29th November), Bielsa told Sky Sports there is no rift between himself and the player.

Phillips then played the full 90 minutes of Tuesday’s 1-0 Premier League win over Crystal Palace, operating in his favoured defensive midfield role.

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When asked by Football Insider for his assessment of the the latest developments, Campbell said: “Phillips is Leeds’ best midfielder.

“The fact that he has been playing centre-half… He is on a hiding to nothing. It’s an absolute nightmare.

“He is your best midfielder. Play him in the right position. Bielsa may feel he is helping the team at centre-half but would be more effective in the midfield. He is a starter for England in central midfield.

“I’m sure words were exchanged between the two of them. Phillips is not a centre-half.

“Being subbed off against Brighton is not a good sign. That is not good.

“Maybe Bielsa is giving Phillips a slap on the wrist. Whatever it is, it is not good. Phillips carries plenty of weight at that club.”

Speaking on Phillips, Bielsa said: “It’s never good for a player or for a team to think that the positions are immovable and that the hierarchies that are within a team can’t be altered ever.

“Apart from that it’s not only bad for the player, who is untouchable, but it’s bad for those who want to alter the positions within a team.”

In other news, Kieran Maguire has claimed Leeds have just been hit with a transfer ‘setback’ after ‘problematic’ reveal.