Leeds have been warned midfield talisman Kalvin Phillips could leave and become the final piece in the jigsaw at Man Utd if they do not significantly improve on last season’s effort.
Phillips, 25, was simply superb in his maiden season in the top flight. However, there were very few within the game that did not expect Phillips to take the Premier League in his stride.
Indeed, Phillips had already broken into Gareth Southgate’s England squad while still a Championship player.
Now a regular fixture in the Three Lions’ midfield alongside Declan Rice, Phillips continues to trend upwardly with each passing year.
But according to talkSPORT pundit Trevor Sinclair, Phillips may soon be about to outgrow his boyhood club.
Sinclair insisted Phillips is “ready” to take the next step, and revealed he believes Phillips will move on if Leeds do not challenge for the Champions League positions.
That would appear to be a huge ask on paper with Man City, Chelsea and Man Utd all strengthening significantly in the summer window. Furthermore, Liverpool are expected to bounce back from a disappointing campaign that saw an injury crisis rip through their defensive ranks.
And if Sinclair’s comments weren’t unfavourable enough to Leeds fans, the pundit talked up a move to Man Utd in order to improve on their one position of weakness.
“I think Kalvin Phillips is ready,” said Sinclair (via Leeds Live).
“If Leeds do not really pick up this season and start threatening that top four, I think Kalvin Phillips will go.
“I was actually quite surprised that Man Utd did not have a little look at him because when you start looking at that holding midfield role, and you have got Fred, (Scott) McTominay and (Nemanja) Matic.
“For me if they have got that position right, they will have a chance at really competing for the Premier League.”
Leeds will see what James is ‘really about’
Meanwhile, former IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington believes Leeds United will see what Daniel James is all about under Marcelo Bielsa.
James completed a £25m transfer from Manchester United on transfer deadline day and became Leeds’ second most expensive signing in the process. It was two-and-a-half-years after Leeds’ bid to sign him from his former club Swansea collapsed at the 11th hour.
James was even pictured in a Leeds shirt before the deal fell through. Instead Man Utd swooped in the summer of 2019, paying £15m, plus £3m in add-ons to Swansea.
“You know what, it’s exciting,” Warrington told talkSPORT. “I think it could be a good partnership with him and Raphinha. I think he’s got that little twinkle in his eye doing interviews and what not.
“He wanted to sign for Leeds a few years ago and it didn’t happen. He’s had a season or two at Man United and he will have grown and learnt a bit. But I think he’s excited to be here and we’ll see another level from him.
“Under Marcelo Bielsa, we’ll see what he’s really capable of doing.”