By support

29th Dec, 2016 | 3:35pm

Sky Sports pundit names Leeds 21-year-old as the player to watch in clash v Aston Villa

By Harvey Byrne

Sky Sports pundit David Prutton has named Leeds young star Kalvin Phillips as the player to watch in Thursday evening’s clash against Aston Villa.

The 21-year-old has enjoyed a lot of game time this season under manager Garry Monk and has become a key figure in a successful Leeds team.

He has started the club’s last two league games after missing the Reading clash through suspension and he is expected to be named in the line-up once again at Villa Park.

Former Leeds man Prutton is a big fan of the Yorkshire giants’ youth graduate and named him in his young EFL players to watch list for 2017.

“As long as he’s back in the team, he’s the young player to watch at Villa Park on Thursday evening,” told Prutton the Sky Sports website.

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“He’s been superb and is probably most suited to be a holding midfielder. He’s been played up behind Chris Wood but I think he looks more comfortable alongside Ronaldo Vieira or Liam Bridcutt.

“Vieira is perhaps a bit quicker over the ground but he certainly gets around the park and is strongly built for a young lad. The way he equipped himself against Liverpool was brilliant.

“Leeds have lost a lot of their young players but you’d least think twice about leaving with the way the club are doing right now, especially if they can get a result at Villa Park.”

Phillips has played 38 times for Leeds in total after making his debut against Wolves in April 2015.

Of those appearances, 26 have come this campaign under Monk and he has helped the Yorkshire giants nestle in fifth place from his defensive midfield position.

He will be keen to continue with his impressive form against Villa and a win could see Leeds move all the way up to third.

However, a defeat against the 10th placed side could see them drop to seven after the weekend’s fixtures with just two points separating them from seventh placed Derby.

In other Leeds news, here is the best combined Whites and Aston Villa XI.