Adam Forshaw hails Kalvin Phillips approach and big boost to Leeds United's promotion hopes

ADAM FORSHAW is a big fan of the drama associated with transfer deadline day.

Friday, 9th August 2019, 18:05 pm
COMPLETE PROFESSIONAL: Kalvin Phillips takes time to chat to visiting Leeds United fans after last weekend's 3-1 win at Bristol City and gives one lucky supporter his shirt. Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images.

As the midfielder faced the press on Thursday ahead of today’s Championship hosting of Nottingham Forest, Forshaw was excited to return home and stick on the TV to see who was going where before the 5pm deadline.

Kalvin Phillips, though, was going absolutely nowhere – music to the ears of Forshaw who has praised the professionalism and prowess of his midfield team-mate and a shot in the arm to United’s promotion bid.

A stellar 2018-19 campaign saw newly promoted Premier League outfit Aston Villa make Whites midfielder Phillips one of their top targets of the summer.

Leeds, though, stood firm – rejecting bids for his services and offering the midfielder an improved new deal with the 23-year-old currently contracted until the end of 2021.

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Then came the news that every United fan wanted to here – confirmation from Phillips’ agent Kevin Sharp that the midfielder would be staying with the Whites and imminently sitting down with director of football Victor Orta to discuss a new deal.

Thriving in his role as a no 8 protected by Phillips in behind, Forshaw was just as delighted as the club’s fans with the Liverpudlian also highly impressed with the maturity and professional approach of a still very young man.

“First and foremost it hasn’t affected him or any of us,” said Forshaw about Phillips’ summer.

“He has remained so professional throughout and it’s just business as usual. Nobody has spoken about it and whatever has gone on between clubs, negotiating or what have you, you wouldn’t know.

“He’s a massive part of the team and from a selfish point of view I want him here because I want to get promoted and we want the best players in the team. It’s great news all round.

“Kalvin has made his position his own. He is such a strong character on and off the field and a great lad to have around the place. He’s only young and he’s got more to give as well.”

Confirmation that Phillips was staying with Leeds came as part of a day that saw United land two deadline-day recruits in France under-20s goalkeeper Illan Meslier on a season-long loan from FC Lorient and England under-21s striker Eddie Nketiah on a season-long loan from Arsenal.

Forshaw is certain both will settle in quickly alongside fellow new summer recruits

Helder Costa and Ben White plus the returning Jack Harrison and Jack Clarke.

“The new lads seem really nice lads, the group is really good and there’s a lot of confidence around the place and a good atmosphere again so it’s pretty easy to settle in,” said Forshaw.

“The goalkeeper trained on Thursday and he looked really good, he’s a good size and again a young age so it’s all positive.”

The next desired positive would come with victory against Nottingham Forest today and the stay of Phillips is also having a positive knock-on effect on Forshaw’s own personal game.

Forshaw says he is thriving as a no 8 in United’s midfield with Phillips behind as the defensive midfielder and Mateusz Klich at no 10.

Forshaw explained: “Having Kalvin behind me, it gives me licence to go and get involved a little bit.

"The manager wants me as an eight to try and attack and defend as much as possible, Kalvin more defend and Klichy more attack. If I can mix the two together then great.”