By Kevin Phillips

26th Jul, 2021 | 6:00pm

Phillips salutes major development that rockets Leeds into Premier League elite

Kevin Phillips claims Marcelo Bielsa’s latest idea is proving how Leeds United can match top clubs on and off the pitch.

The Sunderland legend, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, reacted to the latest development out of Leeds.

On 21st July, The Athletic‘s Phil Hay revealed Bielsa has requested the Whites install a pitch identical to Elland Road at thier Thorp Arch training facility.

Thorp Arch has been developed this summer, as has Elland Road as a new pitch has been laid and the dugouts have been replaced.

This is yet another example of Bielsa’s influence at Leeds as the club’s board hold his opinions and ideas in incredibly high esteem.

Phillips claims it makes sense for Leeds to instal an identical pitch as many top Premier League clubs do the same.

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“Top Premier League clubs do the same,” Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

“Even top Championship clubs have a training pitch that’s identical to their home pitch.

“It just makes sense doesn’t it? If you’re training on a pitch every day that’s different to your stadium. Imagine that, it’s so bizarre.

“It shows how Leeds are moving forward. It’s a forward-thinking move from the club.

“And of course you have to give Bielsa the credit for that.”

The Atheltic’s report also revealed Bielsa has not returned home this summer as he oversees Leeds’ pre-season plans.

The Argentine is yet to sign a new a new deal after only singing a 12-month extension on the eve of last season.

In other news, Leeds United in advanced talks to sign ‘next Virgil van Dijk’ from giants.