Noel Whelan has claimed Kalvin Phillips has a “50/50” chance of playing for Leeds United against Arsenal this weekend.
The former Whites striker and lifelong fan at Elland Road, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted he did not want to see Marcelo Bielsa take a risk on the 25-year-old and suggested he should be left out if he was not 100 per cent ready to play.
Phillips limped off with a calf problem in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace earlier this week and Marcelo Bielsa, as quoted by Phil Hay, confirmed the midfielder was a doubt for Sunday’s clash at the Emirates.
Latest from Bielsa's presser – Phillips is a doubt for the Arsenal game but no decision on him made yet. Hernandez out again. Llorente and Koch still missing. #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) February 12, 2021
The England international could join the likes of Pablo Hernandez, Diego Llorente, Rodrigo Moreno and Robin Koch on the sidelines if he cannot recover in time for Sunday’s clash.
Whelan admitted he would love to see the midfielder shake off the problem but insisted Leeds did not need to gamble on his fitness if he is not fully recovered.
Asked if he was hopeful of Phillips starting on Sunday, Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “It’s 50/50 in my opinion.
“I don’t see the point in risking him if he’s not 100 per cent. Calf muscle injuries, your calves are really what takes the brunt of the whole weight on your legs so if it’s going to affect his game, then you’re better off not playing him and playing someone else in there.
“I hope he’s fit but I don’t want a 70 per cent Kalvin, that’s not going be any good to us.”
Phillips has played 18 times in the Premier League so far and is still yet to score his first top-flight goal for the Whites.
He missed three games with a shoulder injury between October and November while he was forced to sit out through suspension against Brighton.