Leeds United will struggle to cope if they lose Kalvin Phillips this summer and fail to sign a suitable replacement, according to Jermaine Beckford.
The Whites’ talisman enjoyed a successful first season of Premier League football with his boyhood club. In fact, the 26-year-old was vital in seeing Leeds finish ninth. They also tallied one of the highest points totals of a newly-promoted team.
However, the situation has completely changed this season. Injuries to Phillips and other key stars such as Patrick Bamford have hit Leeds hard. As such, they now find themselves in a relegation battle.
Relegation for Leeds would prove hard to stomach so soon after ending their 16-year wait to return to the top flight.
Furthermore, former Whites star Beckford has warned about the potential loss of Phillips by suffering the drop. However, the 38-year-old insisted that the midfielder has unfinished business at Elland Road.
Beckford told the Sunday Mirror: “For me, Kalvin’s future comes down to whether Leeds are in the Premier League next season – as long as they are – I can’t see a reason for him to leave – just yet.
“He’s in the national team, he’s playing in the Premier League for a team he loves and for a team where he is loved.
“Let’s be fair, this is only his second season at this level and he has not completed a full campaign through injury. Financially, he’s on a decent deal and I understand there are discussions to extend that.
“Ultimately, there will come a point where he has a decision to make, particularly if he wants to play Champions League football. But if he is progressing and Leeds are, then I think he will stay for one more season at least.
“That will give the club time to grow and possibly make plans because how would Leeds cope with that loss?”
Phillips has himself insisted that he remains “happy” at Leeds and is committed to Jesse Marsch’s team.
Beckford added that “natural-born leader” Phillips gives others around him “creative freedom” because his footballing intelligence levels are “so high”.
Kalvin Phillips one of two potential Leeds exits
Amid the focus on Phillips’ future at Leeds, the Elland Road club could yet lose Raphinha this summer.
The Brazil international has proved a masterstroke signing following his arrival from Rennes in 2020.
Since then, he has become the talisman in attack. Indeed, he leads the scoring charts at Leeds this season with 10 goals.
Kalvin Phillips deciding on next move
Kalvin Phillips is deciding on his summer move as Leeds United stay seems unlikely
Reports have claimed that Raphinha could leave for a lower fee if Leeds suffer relegation. Barcelona are supposedly after the 25-year-old.
And while one of those two exits would prove damaging, the Whites will want to avoid losing both the winger and Phillips in the same transfer window.