Phillips update ahead of Man United: Bielsa suggests Phillips will not feature against Red Devils
Leeds United go into the 2021-22 Premier League campaign amidst a wealth of positivity after their return to the English top-flight last season ended impressively, and Kalvin Phillips played a key role in their success.
The Elland Road outfit announced their return to the top echelon of the English game – their first season in the Premier League since 2003-04 where they finished nineteenth – by finishing a 9th in the league and just three points off the top-seven.
In what could be the best of the bunch on Saturday’s fixture list, their clash with Manchester United looks set to be without the aforementioned Phillips, who has yet to complete his preparations according to boss Marcelo Bielsa.
Bielsa will make a late call on Phillips: “He’s done a different type of work, a briefer one. The preparation time he had was half that of his teammates, but he’s done this in a very serious manner. It’s natural that the time he needed to prepare has not been completed yet” #LUFC
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) August 12, 2021
Ben Dinnery (SkySports, The Athletic, talkSPORT) provided quotes from the Argentine headmaster ahead of the weekend’s fixture at Old Trafford, and on the back of those, it seems unlikely that the Leeds-born fan favorite will be risked despite the measure of his importance to the team.
Phillips has turned heads in what has been an incredible 12-month period while starring for his boyhood club, which culminated in heavy involvement during England’s run to the finals of Euro2020 where he started in all of the Three Lions’ seven fixtures while being one of the standout performers for Gareth Southgate’s side.
The likes of Spain and Barcelona icon Xavi have been left ‘hugely impressed’ by the 25-year-old, while clubmate Robin Koch was hardly left surprised at his summer contributions.
Though many will be left disappointed should he fail to be selected against United, there is no doubting his continued involvement and influence under Bielsa for another season once he returns to full fitness.