Liverpool have been linked with Leeds central midfielder Kalvin Phillips, according to Bleacher Report.
The 24-year-old, whose consistently impressive performances under Marcelo Bielsa have earnt interest from Tottenham and Manchester United, was touted as a potential signing for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool in the summer transfer window by BR’s Dean Jones.
Phillips, who has been nicknamed the ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’ by Leeds supporters, has been the outstanding defensive midfielder in the Championship this season, leading Leeds to a 1 point lead at the top of the Championship.
Phillips has been essential to Leeds’ strong, league-leading defensive record, amassing 2.8 tackles per game, while also numbering a club-best 1.9 key passes per game.
This effect on both phases of play has led to calls from the likes of Steve McClaren for Phillips to receive an England call-up, while England boss Gareth Southgate watched Phillips play in Leeds’ defeat versus Sheffield Wednesday.
The prospective signing of Phillips represents a shift in Liverpool’s transfer policy towards younger English talent, a strategy seen in other rumoured transfer targets, including Leeds teammate Ben White and Norwich City youngster Todd Cantwell.
Phillips would likely serve as extra midfield depth, in an acknowledgement of James Milner’s ageing, and would provide further competition for the likes of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum.
His technical proficiency would allow him to ease into Jurgen Klopp’s possession-based system at the base of the midfield, while his relative youth would allow time for development at the Premier League giants.
Phillips’ performances for Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds side this season have been widely praised, not least by the Argentine himself, who has described the midfielder as ‘playing excellently’ this season, while fellow Liverpool target Jude Bellingham recently named Phillips as his toughest opponent.
However, it is unclear whether the 24-year-old would be willing to move to the European champions, particularly given their midfield strength and the likely prospect of Premier League football with hometown club Leeds in 2020-21.