NEW teen star Kalvin Phillips has earned high praise from Leeds United head coach Uwe Rosler who has already declared: “he will not let himself, or the team or myself down.”
Phillips is the latest Whites Academy product to graduate to United’s first team with the 19-year-old midfielder earning rave reviews from his first start of the season and only third start in total through Sunday’s goalless Championship draw at Reading.
And while Rosler admits the teenager will likely drop back to the bench when Lewis Cook and Luke Murphy return from suspension and injury respectively, there is no hiding the esteem in which his head coach holds him.
Cook serves the second game of a three-match ban by missing Wednesday night’s Championship visit to Bristol City while Murphy and Tommaso Bianchi continue to work their way back to full fitness after undergoing knee surgery in the summer.
Asked if Phillips was about to follow former Academy stars Cook, Charlie Taylor, Alex Mowatt and Sam Byram into becoming a first team regular, Rosler told the YEP: “I think we will not do any players a favour when we are putting them in at the deep end - living or dying.
“There are certain periods where we can allow players who don’t have a lot of experience to throw them in and see how they cope.
“Kal coped very well in my opinion throughout the (Reading) game. He raised himself up to the level, to the tempo, to the intensity.
“I already saw that continually in pre-season - against Hoffenheim and against Frankfurt but when everybody is fit I don’t think Kal will play week-in, week-out.
“But he is always pushing and he will always put pressure on the established players.
“He is one that throughout the whole year has big potential to develop and to get more and more playing time.
“At the moment, he benefits from the suspension of Cooky and also from the injuries we have for Luke Murphy and (Tommaso) Bianchi and he is using his chance.
“He is earning my trust by giving me performances like he did against Reading because I felt I can trust him, I can play him and he will not let himself, or the team or myself down.
“For such a young player like him that is a big compliment.”