Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa reveals plan for dealing with Kalvin Phillips ban at Huddersfield Town, updates on trio of injuries
Ben White has got the nod from Marcelo Bielsa to step forward and fill the void left by the suspended Kalvin Phillips at Huddersfield on Saturday.
According to the Whites head coach, his central defender, on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion, has the ability to play in a deep-lying midfield role.
It is not a new idea that has cropped up at Thorp Arch due to Phillips’ one-game ban, Bielsa first spoke of the possibility of White playing further forward back in September.
But he admits there are no guarantees, because despite the work they have done in training, White is untested as a Championship midfielder.
“We are working with White in this position, he is going to [replace Phillips],” said Bielsa.
“Of course it’s a new position for him. He has the skills to work and play there but he is not used to playing there. And always it’s something that we don’t know what is going to happen.”
White’s switch is likely to bring Gaetano Berardi into the heart of the Leeds defence for the Yorkshire derby.
Ideally for Bielsa, Adam Forshaw would have provided the closest thing to a like-for-like replacement in Phillips’ absence.
But there is still no word on when the former Middlesbrough midfielder will be fit again from his complicated hip injury.
“It is a long injury, of course it is frustrating for him and also for us because he is a very necessary player so if you see in the next match he could replace Phillips normally,” said the Argentine.
“For three months he has not competed. And in this period he didn’t complete his recovery but he is working hard every day, with dedication and professionalism, the same as the medical staff, but we don’t have yet a date when he is going to come back with us.”
"Also out for this weekend are Jamie Shackleton [muscular] and Tyler Roberts [hamstring], who are both looking at two to three weeks out of action with their respective injuries."