Impending departures of Phillips, Raphinha should ‘worry’ Leeds United fans, says pundit
The imminent departures of Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha should have Leeds United fans worried, says Sky Sports pundit Scott Minto.
New boss Jesse Marsch looks like starting the season without the influential pair, who both look set to move on.
Leeds accepted an offer in excess of £45m from Manchester City on Friday night for Phillips. And the England man is expected to sign for the champions in the next week.
Phillips has turned down approaches from other clubs and Sky Sports News understands, out of loyalty to Leeds, the only club he would have joined was City.
Raphinha also looks likely to depart Elland Road with Barcelona very keen on the winger. But they have not been able to put any money on the table, unlike Arsenal who have seen a bid rejected.
Chelsea and Tottenham are also understood to be interested in the Brazilian, but Leeds are believed to be holding out for £65m. And if that price tag is matched then the 11-goal winger will also depart West Yorkshire.
That has left Minto fearing for Marsch’s men next season.
“They just about stayed up, Leeds,” Minto told talkSPORT. “But if you’re going to let Kalvin Phillips go, you need to get good money for him and if you let Raphinha go, which obviously we don’t know if that’s going to happen, £100m between the two if they get it, on the face of it that’s good money.
Minto: Bamford important for Leeds
“You’re talking about a team that survived on the very last day with those two players in the team. If you’re now going to get rid of your two best players, they’ve had injuries, of course they have.”
Minto believes the return of Patrick Bamford will be important. The striker missed the majority of last season through injury, but he is expected to start pre-season. The Athletic claim he is “fully recovered” from his injury nightmare, which saw him feature just nine times in the Premier League last term.
Leeds have also added attacking midfielder Brenden Aaronson, right-back Rasmus Kristensen and holding midfielder Marc Roca. But the replacements they bring in for Phillips and Raphinha will be vital for their fortunes next season.
“Patrick Bamford coming back will be key. But is there a guarantee that he’ll be as good as he was in the first season? There’s no guarantee, but even if you think he would be, Leeds are still massively depleted. What you then do with that money is absolutely crucial.
“At this moment in time, if I was a Leeds fan, I’d worry,” added former Chelsea man Minto.