Former Leeds United star tips Marcelo Bielsa to find Kalvin Phillips alternative in January

Former Leeds United and England goalkeeper Paul Robinson believes Marcelo Bielsa may have to dip into the transfer market in January.

Monday, 16th November 2020, 11:40 am
LEEDS, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Paul Robinson of Leeds United during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Elland Road on February 10, 2004 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Kalvin Phillips, a vital cog in Bielsa’s midfield machine, has been sidelined after suffering a shoulder injury against Wolves last month.

Although Leeds dispatched Aston Villa the following week, the Whites have since suffered back-to-back 4-1 losses to Leicester City and Crystal Palace, highlighting the English international’s absence.

Bielsa experimented with Mateusz Klich and Pascal Struijk in Phillips’ holding role, but both struggled to make the same impact.

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“The last two games have highlighted just how important Kalvin Phillips is to the way that Bielsa plays, said Robinson speaking to MOT Leeds United. “Leeds were without Phillips for two spells last season too.”

“The first, they really struggled. The second time, Ben White had adapted to the role and there was no issue there.

“Now Ben White has gone, he [Bielsa] is really struggling to find someone who can fill in there.

“He’s played Klich there, he’s played Struijk there, he’s rotated during the games and he’s still nowhere near finding the perfect solution.

“Phillips is an absolutely vital player for Leeds and the way they play, and if they are going to be without him for any length of time they are going to have to find a replacement for him in the January window.”

Speaking to teammate Leif Davis on Twitch last week, Phillips explained his shoulder was ‘still sore’ whilst hinting that he could return for Leeds’ upcoming Premier League clash with Arsenal on Sunday.