Noel Whelan has expressed his delight that Kalvin Phillips is set to make his Leeds United comeback in Monday night’s showdown against West Ham.

Marcelo Bielsa was vague about Phillips’ fitness at at his media conference last Thursday previewing the London Stadium clash.

But the key midfielder is in line to return after being pictured wearing a mask with the Leeds travelling party heading to London on Sunday afternoon.

The midfielder has not played since the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on 8 February due to a calf injury and he has been sorely missed by Leeds.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side have lost three of their four Premier League matches without the holding midfielder.

“Having Kalvin back is massive, absolutely huge,” Whelan told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

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“There is no-one else in the Leeds squad who can play his role, or do what he does so well in terms of protecting the defence and launching attacks.

“I like Struijk but I much prefer him playing centre-half, to be honest with you, and others don’t have Kalvin’s skill-set, either, in what is a specialist position.

“I’m sure if Kalvin is deemed fit enough to travel, he will be in contention to start. West Ham are in brilliant form and we’re going to need him against Declan Rice and [Tomas] Soucek.”

Phillips, 25, has made a big impression in his first season in the Premier League.

He has started 18 matches in the top flight and been an integral player in a side that has produced some dazzling displays.

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