'Huge' - Exclusive: Whelan reacts to new Leeds behind-the-scenes development
Noel Whelan has insisted Leeds United have been handed a “huge” boost by the return of Kalvin Phillips to light training.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, the ex-United striker is delighted the key midfielder is making major progress behind the scenes at Thorp Arch.
This site revealed earlier this week that Phillips, 24, is cycling and doing leg work at the club’s training base as he steps up his comeback bid.
There is genuine hope the England international can make his playing return in next week’s Premier League clash against Arsenal.
Asked by Football Insider how big of a boost it is for Leeds to have Phillips back in training, Whelan said: “It’s huge.
“I think over the last couple of games we’ve realised how much we actually miss Kalvin Phillips and how important he is to our structure and how we play the game.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“We’ve tried a couple of players in that defensive position that Kalvin plays so well and it looked wrong. It looked wrong against Leicester, it looked completely wrong against Crystal Palace, we’re too open.
“There’s no defensive cover there and protection, which Kalvin gives you all the time, that reassurance that gets the wing backs nice and high, knowing that Kalvin’s in that role just mopping up doing the horrible side of the game, to keep that momentum going forward.
“We can’t really be having Mateusz Klich playing that role either because then we’re missing a player that likes to get forward and make fantastic runs and is very creative in that area.
“I think the quicker we get Kalvin back we will look a lot more of a solid side in that midfield and defensively because you know you can’t be shipping in eight goals in two games in the Premier League.
“You’ll get found out in the championship you’ll definitely get found out in the Premier League.”