Liverpool have been urged to push through a summer deal to sign Kalvin Phillips – as the Leeds man could become one of English football’s top midfielders under Jurgen Klopp’s guidance.
Phillips has played a massive part in helping the Whites move top of the Championship this season and has become a regular for his hometown club under instrumental coach Marcelo Bielsa, catching the eye of many suitors – including England manager Gareth Southgate.
And after Aston Villa saw an approach in the region of £25m rejected last summer, the midfielder was rewarded with a new five-year deal.
Since then, interest in Phillips has grown steadily with Wolves, Burnley, Tottenham and Sheffield United also among his suitors.
However, a report last month claimed Phillips had also been earmarked as a potential summer recruit for Liverpool, with their scouts set to be big admirers of the Leeds schemer.
And now pundit Darren Bent claims a move to bring Phillips to Anfield would be a shrewd move and says the 24-year-old would become even better learning from Klopp and alongside the likes of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson.
“Listen, if that move comes about and it’s there on the table, you’ve got to take it,” Bent told Football Insider.
“How much he’d play, I don’t know but people are talking about Fabinho and his fitness, how he only plays 60 or 70 minutes and then he blows up a little bit.
“It would be good for Kalvin Phillips. He’d go there, learn his trade, watch Fabinho and these type of players to see how they do it. Ability-wise, he’s as good as anyone in that role.
“He’s got energy, passing, technically, he’s a top, top player.
“There was talk of him getting into the England squad before lockdown. People rate him very highly and if the opportunity’s there for him, he’s got to take it.
“It’s a bit of tough one, we’re saying he’s got to prove himself in the Premier League but if one of the top, if not the top Premier League side wants him, it’s a bit hard to say no!”
Phillips one of the best – Danny Murphy
Leeds, however, would fight to retain Phillips’ services and would fancy their chances of doing so were the club to secure promotion to the Premier League.
The player is also contracted to Leeds until summer 2024 and could even be rewarded with an improved deal were United to establish themselves again in the top flight.
Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy claimed back in January that Phillips has all the credentials to play for a big club.
“He’s a terrific player, I first saw him 18 months ago when he first stood out in a game and I thought ‘keep an eye on him’,” Murphy said on talkSPORT.
“I always look at midfielders, it’s a natural thing.
“In that holding role, you have to be really cute and clever, [Michael] Carrick was one of the best at it.
“If Leeds were to mess up and not go up, I think he’ll be a Premier League player next season. Someone will take him for sure.”