Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips is ‘way above’ Liverpool star as bold comparison made

Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips is the best defensive midfielder in the Championship, and he’s better than a number of Premier League players too, according to Noel Whelan. The former striker claimed Phillips is “way above” Liverpool star Jordan Henderson, and West Ham’s Declan Rice.

Phillips has been one of Marcelo Bielsa’s key players during the Argentine’s reign at Elland Road.

The central midfielder has now made 174 appearances for Leeds, scoring 11 goals.

His strong performances have drawn attention from some of the Premier League’s biggest teams, including Manchester United.

Former Leeds forward Whelan has backed Phillips to get called up to the England squad.

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“Kalvin Phillips is one of those players who is not just integral in the role that he plays, but also the confidence he gives to others when he is in the side,” Whelan told Football Insider.

“There has to be an England call up for him very soon the way he is playing.

“He is a leader. There is no better defensive midfield player in the Championship in that position and I would probably say the Premier League as well.

“I do not think Declan Rice and Jordan Henderson are in the same league as Kalvin Phillips. I really do not. Kalvin is way above them.

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“Gareth [Southgate] has been down, and has been looking at Kalvin and Ben White. You would have thought but Kalvin is the standout.”

Henderson has been tipped to win this season’s PFA Player of the Year award in the Premier League.

He’s scored three goals and provided five assists for team-mates, with Liverpool set to win the league title for the first time.

The 29-year-old has earned 55 England caps during his career, having represented the Three Lions at three different age groups previously.


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Rice, meanwhile, has been capped seven times by Southgate, and has played every minute of West Ham’s league campaign this season.

But, Phillips has continued to progress under Bielsa, and is largely considered as one of the Championship’s best players.

The 24-year-old has reportedly been subject to bids from Tottenham, while also being monitored by Manchester United.

Earlier this season, Leeds confirmed that they had rejected “multiple offers” from Premier League sides, with bids in excess of £20million.


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Meanwhile, Phillips limped off the pitch with a calf injury against Reading on Saturday.

He was substituted in the 37th minute, and was replaced by Egzijan Alioski.

It’s not clear how serious the injury is, or whether he’ll be fit for Wednesday night’s clash against Middlesbrough.

But, Phillips has claimed that he had “just a dead calf” on Instagram, which would come as a major boost for Bielsa.

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