Ian Wright urges Kalvin Phillips to please everyone with Leeds transfer route; fears Bamford injury repeat
Ian Wright has backed Kalvin Phillips to stay at Leeds United for “a while” and cement his status at the club before looking to move on.
Local lad Phillips has become the talisman at Elland Road after rising through the club’s academy. He has subsequently nailed down his starting spot at Leeds and is firmly in England manager Gareth Southgate’s thinking.
The 26-year-old has endured a tough 2022 so far. Phillips only made his first appearance of the year in last Saturday’s draw with Southampton after four months out with a hamstring injury.
However, Leeds boss Jesse Marsch insisted that Phillips made an instant impact. Indeed, the manager revealed his excitement at the opportunity to work with the midfielder.
Phillips‘ performances have attracted attention over his future. While he is happy to sign a new contract, West Ham made a £50million January bid for him and Aston Villa have made him a firm summer target.
Wright insisted that playing in the Champions League will be Phillips’ ultimate ambition. However, the pundit added that the Englishman should stay at Leeds to further advance his status in the city.
“I was talking about Kalvin Phillips and people were speaking about him leaving, but he should stay for a while. Why not?” Wright told the Wrighty’s House podcast.
“He’ll be courted because of how good he is in that position and at some stage he wants to play in the Champions League, because that’s what his level deserves.
“But after being injured, go back to Leeds, get them back to where we saw them when they first came up and get them pushing.”
Aston Villa planning massive £60m bid for Kalvin Phillips
Aston Villa will persue Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips with massive £60m bid this summer
Indeed, Phillips played 29 Premier League games for Leeds last season. He helped Marcelo Bielsa’s side to a ninth-placed finish with one of the highest points totals of a newly-promoted team.
This season, though, injury has set him – and several of his team-mates – back. Striker Patrick Bamford recovered from an ankle injury before immediately injuring his hamstring. Furthermore, he has recently suffered a fresh six-week foot problem after mistakenly returning too soon.
Wright urged Leeds to be cautious over Phillips to avoid a repeat of Bamford’s situation.
Wright urges Kalvin Phillips, Leeds caution
“To lose for someone that long with a hamstring it was tough,” the pundit said. “When you’ve got an injury like that, every single minute of the day you’re thinking about it. You’re desperate to get back.
“So I just pray to God that it’s not a breakdown like Bamford.
“I hope that it doesn’t happen with Kalvin because he’s needed and I just want him to get back really really strong.”
Phillips will be carefully monitoring his fitness to try and help Leeds to a strong finish to the season.
Leeds eyeing strong Premier League finish
The Whites have claimed seven points from their past three Premier League games to pull themselves clear of the relegation zone.
However, Burnley’s win over Everton on Wednesday means that the Clarets can go level on points with Leeds if they win their two remaining games in hand.
As such, Marsch’s side must focus on their own results. They still have to play Manchester City and Chelsea at Elland Road, and Arsenal away.
But, Saturday’s clash with fellow relegation strugglers Watford will prove crucial.