Liverpool have been urged to make a summer move to sign Kalvin Phillips from Leeds as a surprise replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum.
The Dutch midfielder’s future continues to take up plenty of columm inches. Wijnaldum will be out of contract in a matter of weeks and able to move on a free transfer. However, it emerged recently that Barcelona were now unwilling to make the move, leaving Wijnaldum with two transfer choices.
Despite all that, the ongoing doubts over his future have been the subject of criticism from Graeme Souness. The pundit feels uncertainty surrounding the Dutchman has been a catalyst in their struggles this season.
But with his future continuing to hog the limelight, focus has been switched over who they should sign as a replacement. Borussia Monchengladbach’s Florian Neuhaus has been tipped as a £40m target.
However, former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey wants the Reds to look closer to home. Indeed, Heskey says the Reds could do no better than look to Premier League rivals Leeds and their star man, Phillips.
“You can know your job and not really know when you receive the ball how to play those penetrative passes,” he told Rousing The Kop of Phillips.
“Phillips has those passes. He has the dogged ability to get around the pitch and put in some tackles as well.
“He has every side of his game, whether you can get him is another thing.”
Leeds, of course, value Phillips extremely highly and would not let their star man go easily.
The Reds will get a closer look at Phillips on Monday night when they travel to Elland Road to take on Leeds. Another epic, six-goal thriller has been tipped.
Gary Neville a Phillips fan
Heskey isn’t the only man to highlight the abilities of Phillips this season. His elevation into the England fold has also earned him rich praise from Gary Neville.
Phillips, 25, started all three of the Three Lions’ World Cup qualifiers during the international break. The midfielder played all but 19 minutes of the games against San Marino, Albania and Poland. Gareth Southgate’s side won all three and sit two points clear at the top of Group I.
Speaking about Phillips, Neville is clearly impressed and rates the player higher than West Ham’s Declan Rice.
“Phillips is better at passing the ball through the lines at Leeds,” he told Sky Sports.
“[Jordan] Henderson and Rice are good on the ball, but I think Phillips is the best out of the three on the ball in terms of accepting the ball and getting it off the back four.
“It has become a really important area for England to connect the back to the front. They’ve struggled over many, many years to be able to do that and get the ball through the midfield. Kalvin Phillips, under Bielsa, is used to getting on the ball all the time.
“Half-turn, pops it through the lines, into the likes of [Mason] Mount, [Marcus] Rashford, [Phil] Foden, [Raheem] Sterling – all those players who might play. So for me, I would go for Phillips alongside Rice [to start at Euro 2021],” Neville concluded.