Why Manchester United must go all out to sign Kalvin Phillips this month
Kalvin Phillips starred for Leeds United on Monday night as Marcelo Bielsa’s side pushed Arsenal all the way in the third-round FA Cup clash at the Emirates.
The 24-year-old started at the base of Leeds United’s midfield and to play against Arsenal was a big test. But he passed it with flying colours. He had the task of keeping Mesut Ozil quiet and the defensive midfielder did his job exceptionally well before Ozil was substituted in the 77th minute.
The Whites have nurtured the talent of Kalvin Phillips over the course of his career, with the midfielder becoming a key player under the management of Marcelo Bielsa over the past 18 months.
Now, Phillips has helped Leeds to the top of the Championship table at this stage and it’s no surprise why clubs are queuing up for the 24-year-old.
Back in October 2019, the Sun had claimed that Manchester United sent scouts to watch Leeds star Phillips against Birmingham City. The Red Devils had an inconsistent start to the season, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
Injuries haven’t helped their cause and the number of players on the treatment table is growing at Old Trafford.
Scott McTominay sustained a knee injury in the 4-1 victory over Newcastle and now he faces a few months on the sidelines. Midfielder Paul Pogba has just undergone surgery on his troublesome ankle, while Harry Maguire is the latest casualty to rock United.
Maguire suffered a torn hip muscle in the FA Cup third round draw with Wolves at the Molineux and the defender is set for an extended spell out of action, although the precise time frame is not yet known.
Injuries to key players have hampered the Reds’ progress this term and Solskjaer must attempt to reinforce his squad, even if the January transfer window is notoriously difficult to get top targets.
With McTominay and Pogba on the sidelines, the Norwegian tactician should strengthen his midfield options, by hook or crook. To put things straight, United must revive their interest in Kalvin Phillips.
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Phillips is enjoying another impressive season at Elland Road and signed a long-term deal with the club last year.
Bielsa has transformed the 24-year-old into one of the best players in the Championship and the midfielder proved his class against Arsenal in the FA Cup as he broke the play, used the ball well and didn’t allow Ozil to roam freely.
Leeds are at the top of the Championship table and are firm favourites to secure automatic promotion to the Premier League. Thus, signing Phillips in January will be a difficult task for Manchester United but they must do everything possible to get the holding midfielder’s signature.