Leeds captain Liam Cooper reckons one of his teammate’s future has changed forever and the star deserves to be looked upon as one of the “world’s best”.
Cooper and Leeds enjoyed an excellent first season back in the Premier League last time around as they finished ninth. Marcelo Bielsa’s side impressed plenty with their free-flowing style of football and got better and better as the season progressed. Indeed, they finished the campaign on the back of a 10-game unbeaten run.
Attention has now turned to the summer transfer market to see how Leeds can further strengthen their hand. They have already brought in Junior Firpo from Barcelona to play left-back.
A new goalkeeper should arrive in the coming days too as a replacement for the departed Kiko Casilla.
However, Bielsa still wants a new central midfielder to cover and compliment Kalvin Phillips.
The need to bolster their midfield is an obvious one. Stuart Dallas has impressed in that role and swept the board at their player of the season awards. However, Leeds have looked light in that area whenever talisman Phillips has been absent.
Bielsa’s side picked up just six points up from a possible 27 in his absence in 2020/21.
Leeds therefore have been looking for a player who not just covers for Phillips, but also someone who compliments him. As such, a number of players, including Nahitan Nandez, have been linked.
Sweden star Jens Cajuste is another player to have been linked.
As for Phillips, Cooper knows how much he means to Leeds United. He also reckons he showed on the world stage at Euro 2020 just how good a player he is.
Indeed, speaking to Sky Sports News, Cooper reckons Phillips must now be considered among the world’s best midfielders.
“He announced himself in that first game against Croatia (at Euro 2020) and I’ve told him that his life has changed forever now,” Cooper told Sky Sports News.
“He knows that though, he’s not a stupid lad and lives his life the right way anyway.
“I’ve seen his journey from a young lad to where he is now and it’s been a pleasure to see – and he belongs there.
“He works so hard here (at Leeds), all the boys and the people of Leeds think the world of him and he deserves everything that comes his ways.
“I’ve seen how hard he works every single day, I see how much he takes on and turns it into his game.
“For me, he is one of the best midfielders in the world right now.”
Kalvin Phillips transfer links resurface
Despite Phillips’ agent insisting the player is happy at Leeds, that has not stopped the Leeds-born star being linked with a host of lucrative moves.
After Dimitar Berbatov tipped Manchester United to come in for Phillips, talkSPORT pundit Perry Groves has now suggested Liverpool could look to make an approach.
“Kalvin Phillips fits Liverpool perfectly,” he said.
“The energy they play with, the closing down, his athleticism, his passing range.
“What would he cost? £100million.”