'This is what I really love' - Warnock heaps praise on 'outstanding' Leeds mainstay after Burnley display

Stephen Warnock has lavished praise on Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips for his performance against Burnley on Sunday.
Kalvin Phillips. (Photo by Nigel French - Pool/Getty Images)Kalvin Phillips. (Photo by Nigel French - Pool/Getty Images)
Kalvin Phillips. (Photo by Nigel French - Pool/Getty Images)

The 25-year-old shone in the 1-0 win over Sean Dyche’s side, with Marcelo Bielsa electing to drop him into a back three as he sought to dampen the threat of Clarets duo Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood.

The England international put in an eye-catching display at the back, defending solidly and constantly looking to hit Burnley with long balls over the top – and his efforts didn’t go unnoticed by former Elland Road full-back Warnock.

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Analysing a variety of clips taken from Phillips’ performance on Sky Sports’ Football Show, the pundit said: “He’s such an accomplished player – the way he’s taken to the Premier League and taken to Leeds United under Marcelo Bielsa.

"This is him in that deeper role. It’s up to him to play in that sweeper role and see the play. He’s just got an understanding of the play.

"He caused Burnley problems all game.

"This is what I really love. This is a centre-midfielder now playing at centre-half, but he looks in control of the situation. He never looks flustered. He always reads the body movement.

"Just very accomplished in the way that he steps out. Again, calmness on the ball – just relaxing. But this is what I like – step out of the back then releasing the ball at the right time.

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"[He has] Good positioning and an understanding of where he needs to be on the pitch.

“They were under a lot of pressure all game Leeds, and Kalvin Phillips dealt with these situations time and time again. He does it in a manner that looks so simple to him. He plays the game at his own tempo. I just think he’s been outstanding.

"I was fortunate enough to play with Kalvin as a youngster when I was at Leeds. You knew he had ability, but he has gone to level that I suppose many didn’t think that he had.

"He’s listened to Marcelo Bielsa, he’s understood the way that he wants him to play. The way that he looks after himself on and off the pitch is a credit to himself, and he’s taken his professionalism to the next level.”