KALVIN PHILLIPS is expected to put pen to paper on a five-year contract at Elland Road early this week.
Securing a longer deal with the midfielder, a product of the Leeds United academy system, is seen as the club’s most important piece of transfer business this summer.Graham Smyth
Securing a longer deal with the midfielder, a product of the Leeds United academy system, is seen as the club’s most important piece of transfer business this summer.
They held onto him despite serious interest and offers from Premier League clubs like Aston Villa and he’ll enjoy improved terms that reflect his importance to Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Contract talks have been going on for weeks and a deal is now thought to have been struck, with the club hoping to make an announcement in the next week.
Phillips, ever present in Leeds’ Championship campaign so far, is a local lad and his love affair with the club was a main feature of the recently released Amazon documentary series Take Us Home.
His displays in front of Bielsa’s defence have made him a firm favourite for Leeds fans, but the documentary also made stars of his family.
His mum and nan were turned into unlikely cult heroes for Whites thanks to their appearance in footage that gave an insight into Phillips’ life away from the pitch.
On it, he has started the season well.
He has made more contributions to Leeds’ long passing game than he did last season, making 8.41 long passes per 90 minutes with a 64.8 per cent accuracy.
That’s up on last season’s average of 7.69, with an accuracy of 52.7 per cent.
He’s hitting more long passes than 95 per cent of the Championships other defensive midfielder, which shows how key his vision and ability on the ball are to that facet of Bielsa’s system.
And he’s getting forward more too, perhaps due to the presence of ball-playing centre-half Ben White behind him.
Stats aside, Phillips has shown his ‘maturity’ in the words of Bielsa, keeping discipline while on a yellow card early on against Nottingham Forest, and his dedication - playing through the pain barrier having picked up a first half knock against Swansea.
The international break has allowed him to rest and recover, as well as sort out his Leeds future.