By Michael Brown

23rd Jan, 2021 | 8:00pm

Pundit Exclusive: I got it massively wrong over Leeds, mainly due to 25-yr-old

Leeds United look alarmingly “vulnerable” when one or two top stars are missing from the side. 

That is the view of former Leeds midfielder Michael Brown who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested Marcelo Bielsa’s men still do not know how to cope when someone like Kalvin Phillips is absent.

The 25-year-old was forced to watch on from the stands as Leeds slipped to a 1-0 defeat at home to Brighton last weekend after picking up his fifth booking of the season against Tottenham.

Pascal Struijk, who has spent much of the season playing at centre-back, filled in for Phillips but struggled to link the defence and midfield like the England international.

Brown, who admitted he had backed the Whites to come out on top against the Seagulls, believes Phillips’ absence highlighted how reliant on certain players Leeds are.

“I think I killed myself last week, I said the team to watch at the weekend was Leeds United against a Brighton side who had played Manchester City and would be fatigued,” Brown told Football Insider.

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“What do we all know, I think everybody backed Leeds to go and win that game, but Philips was a miss.

“They created opportunities but again, obviously still finding their feet and still getting to grips when there are a couple of players missing. I think we could see that they can still be a little bit vulnerable.

“At times it’s difficult for Leeds United – Brighton caused them problems.”

The postponement of the Southampton game means Leeds will have had 10 days between fixtures when they visit Newcastle United next week.

The Whites ran riot against the Magpies in their meeting at Elland Road as they sealed a 5-2 win over Steve Bruce’s men.

In other news, a top pundit has backed Leeds United to sign an “explosive” striker this January.