Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips needed treatment for a head injury after a team bonding session at a London nightclub, it has been revealed.
The Leeds squad have endured a tricky start to the season with just two wins in 12 games. They set just two points clear of the relegation zone following Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Tottenham. Despite a solid first-half display from the visitors, Spurs hit back to claim all three points in Antonio Conte’s first home game in the Premier League.
The Leeds players, however, were granted permission by Marcelo Bielsa after the game to remain in London and take in some of the sights.
Indeed, Phillips was pictured enjoyed himself at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park just hours before the incident.
However, after later attending the popular Cirque Le Soir, Phillips caught his head, reports the Daily Telegraph. England’s Player of the Year then needed treatment for what has been described as a graze that caused a cut.
Thankfully for Leeds, Phillips was able to train as normal on Tuesday. Having been assessed by Leeds United’s club doctor, Phillips was given the all-clear to join in with Bielsa’s session.
That means he will play a part in Saturday evening’s vital clash at Brighton.
The Telegraph reports that the Leeds bonding session was in place of a players’ Christmas party. The gathering was given the blessing by Bielsa, who always gives his players the Monday off after a game on a Sunday.
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Phillips and Bamford vital to Leeds
With Leeds having six games in December, the outing was seen as Leeds United’s only chance for a team-bonding session prior to the crucal festive run of games.
Phillips’ importance to Leeds cannot be overtstated and it will come as a relief that he won’t face any time out.
He impressed in a deeper defensive role in the first half at Tottenham, before changing positions in the second half. Phillips spoke to the media after the game to admit his puzzlement at Bielsa’s tactics, though wasn’t questioning his manager.
Leeds, meanwhile, are also growing hopeful that Patrick Bamford is nearing a return to action.
Last season’s top scorer has missed the last nine games with an ankle problem.
However, the Whites posted a video on Twitter on Tuesday evening showing Bamford back out on the training field. Moving well, the player appears to be nearing a return to action.
👊 Back on the training pitch! pic.twitter.com/3NL6msFrQW
— Leeds United (@LUFC) November 23, 2021
Bielsa cools January transfer talk at Leeds
Leeds United’s hopes of adding to their squad in the January transfer window, meanwhile, have been put into doubt by Bielsa.
One major plus from Sunday’s defeat at Tottenham was the continued good form of the returning Adam Forshaw. After two years out with a hip problem, his return to the midfield has been a very welcome plus for Leeds.
Nonetheless, Leeds fans do still hope the club strengthens their hand in the January window. The club still feels a little light in midfield, while a new option to play in attack would also be welcome. To that end, Leeds have been linked once again with a former loanee.
However, Bielsa has cast serious doubts over whether the club will indeed spend in January.
Quoted by The Athletic’s Phil Hay, he says Bielsa already feels well backed by the club. Furthermore, any players he’s identified would likely cost the club £20m – £30m.
Hay wrote: “Bielsa asked about January window and whether he needs to add players. Says it would depend on getting better players than he has, and they can be expensive. Says adding to the group ‘should not be evaluated without looking at the economic possibilities’.”
Hay added: “Re-iterated again that he feels Leeds have already invested heavily in players on his watch. Says a lot of suitable players fall into the £20million/£30million bracket.”