Pundit fears top star will quit Leeds as potential relegation dogfight looms

Date published: Sunday 13th December 2020 10:10

Paul Merson admits he worries for Leeds’ future with the system they play and doubts whether Kalvin Phillips will be around for the long run.

A promising start to life back in the Premier League has now stalled. After taking seven points from their first four games, the Whites have lost four of their last six matches.

They went down 2-1 at home to West Ham on Friday night, having lost 3-1 to Chelsea the match before. It means that Marcelo Bielsa’s men sit 14th in the top-flight standings, with 14 points from 11 games.

The alarm bells will not be ringing too loudly yet, as they are still eight points clear of the drop zone. However, that is more down to the fact that the bottom three seem incapable of winning.

The Elland Road outfit could easily get dragged into a relegation dogfight and must look to remedy the situation.

Merson observed the way Bielsa set up his team against the Hammers and fears their style may cost them dearly.

“I was sitting and watching last night, and I was worrying about Leeds,” he said on Sky Sports News. “Everyone is getting used to playing against Leeds. It’s like he plays [Said] Benrahma against Leeds, because he needs players that can beat players.

“Whoever can skip past players is going to play in that team on that given Saturday against Leeds, or Sunday or Monday. They play man-to-man, you get past your marker and you’ve got a chance.”

England midfielder could get itchy feet

Leeds took the lead through a Mateusz Klich penalty on six minutes but Tomas Soucek levelled affairs for David Moyes’s men. Angelo Ogbonna scored from another dead-ball delivery on 80 minute to settle the match.

It is a worrying trend for the Yorkshire outfit that they struggle to defend set-piece plays.

And Merson questions whether England’s Phillips will want to continue playing a cavalier style that seems destined for failure.

Kalvin Phillips TEAMtalk

“Every neutral loves watching Leeds play because you know it’s going be an open game, it’s going to be free-flowing, there’s going to be goals – but that’s no good to Leeds,” he added. “I look at Phillips, and I was talking upstairs earlier with the lads: you look at Phillips and wonder how long is he going to stay at Leeds for?”

Leeds are next in action when they host Newcastle United on Wednesday, December 16.

 

READ MORE: Phillips names two toughest opponents

 

 

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