Leeds United: Rising star to commit to Whites

Kalvin Phillips
Kalvin Phillips
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Young Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips is ready to commit his future to the club by signing a new two-year contract.

The 19-year-old, who made his senior debut for Leeds in April, has agreed the terms of an improved deal at Elland Road and is expected to put pen to paper later this month.

His existing deal is close to expiring and will run out on June 30 but Phillips was one of several academy youngsters who were offered new contracts when Leeds compiled their retained list three weeks ago.

The Leeds-born teenager came to prominence towards the end of the recent Championship season, earning a full debut during a 4-3 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Easter Monday.

He played and scored on his second appearance, a 2-1 loss at home to Cardiff City five days later, and featured regularly on the bench.

Speaking about Phillips shortly before the season finished, former head coach Neil Redfearn said: “For me, he’s been ready for a while.

“He’s a beautiful build for a midfielder. He’s got a good touch and range of passing. The more he plays and the more he grows accustomed to his surroundings, you’ll see a different Kalvin Phillips.”

Redfearn maintained a large academy presence in his first-team squad during his six-month reign as head coach, fielding players who had previously worked under him during his time as academy boss at Thorp Arch.

The 49-year-old was replaced as head coach by Uwe Rosler last month and is still to decide whether he will take up the option to resume his own academy job.

Phillips is part of a clutch of youngsters who have graduated from United’s youth development programme in the past three years and Leeds are confident that 19-year-old striker Lewis Walters will follow Walters in taking up a new two-year deal. Like Phillips, his current contract runs out this month.

Walters appeared to be on the verge of his Leeds debut 12 months ago but a serious knee injury sustained in pre-season ruled him out for most of this term.

Eight other academy players, including right-back Lewie Coyle and centre-back Jake Skelton, were also offered new deals when Leeds announced their retained list on May 13.

The group have until June 12 to inform Leeds of their decision and a number are believed to have signalled their intention to accept.

* Three of United’s scholars - striker Frank Mulhern, goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell and midfielder Tom Lyman - have accepted professional deals with the club.

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