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Why Leeds must ward off West Brom interest in this key cog of Bielsa’s system and prove a point

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Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips celebrates after scoring a goal. (Getty Images)

Why Leeds must hold onto Kalvin Phillips amidst West Brom interest

According to a report from the Yorkshire Post, West Brom are interested in Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips.

Under the tutelage of Marcelo Bielsa, Kalvin Phillips has been a revelation and has played in 23 Championship games this season. The 23-year-old, however, is yet to score but he has been crucial in the Whites’ surge to the top of the Championship table.

West Brom have taken note of Phillips’ performances and could make a move if they are promoted and Leeds fail. But, regardless of what happens at the end of the season, Leeds United must keep hold of Kalvin Phillips.

Leeds United have performed extremely well under Bielsa this season and are the hot favourites to get promoted to the top-flight.

The Whites are currently on top of the Championship table, having amassed 48 points in 23 games. Bielsa has made them play some exciting, high-pressing football which has been so pleasing to watch for the neutrals.

And in Bielsa’s system at Elland Road, Kalvin Phillips has arguably been the Championship side’s best performer this season.

The 23-year-old has massively improved under Bielsa’s management. He has featured in the holding midfield role and in central defence, having spent most of last season as an option further up the pitch.

Due to Bielsa’s idea of switching Phillips’ position, the midfielder’s goal tally has taken a massive hit but his importance to the side has ascended rapidly.

Phillips has brought a sense of calmness to the midfield and due to his positional awareness and distribution skills, Leeds have looked such a fluid, eye-catching side. The Thorn Arch graduate has given Bielsa’s team the stability and control in the middle of the park this season.

Phillips has started every league game for the Whites this season and has been used as a makeshift centre-back for Leeds in recent weeks due to the injury problems at the club.

Kalvin Phillips

It is his versatility that has come so handy for Leeds in their injury-hit season. The 23-year-old seems to have turned around a corner in his career at the Elland Road after series of hit-and-miss performances across last season.

Bielsa has built his team around Phillips, with the midfielder playing a starring role so far in their bid to gain promotion to the Premier League next season. Truth be told, the midfielder has become highly indispensable to Bielsa, performing his tasks to great effect.

Read more: Forget it Bielsa – Despite scoring 15 goals in 18 games this season, Leeds must avoid this in-form star in January

Leeds will obviously hope that they are promoted and if they are to taste success after that, Bielsa has to retain the services of Phillips. The league leaders would be wise to reject any offers for their season’s shining star.