Leeds United will allow Kalvin Phillips to depart the club before too long and realise his dream of playing Champions League football, according to one pundit.
Phillips, 25, was simply superb in his maiden season in the top flight. However, there were very few within the game that did not expect the Leeds-born star to take the Premier League in his stride.
Indeed, Phillips had already broken into Gareth Southgate’s England squad while still a Championship player.
Now a regular fixture in the Three Lions’ midfield alongside Declan Rice, Phillips continues to trend upwardly with each passing year. As a reward for his progress, he was recently named England’s Player of the Year.
However, Leeds were warned recently that unless they push for the top four this season, they risk losing their star man.
Rated in the £100m bracket, pundit Trevor Sinclair warned of the scenario whereby Phillips outgrows his hometown club.
That’s a view shared by Gabriel Agbonlahor, who, speaking to Football Insider, claims Phillips will one day leave.
“For me, Kalvin Phillips will be hungry,” Agbonlahor said.
“He will want to play Champions League football like his England teammates.
“It’s a matter of time, to be honest. Leeds will know that it’s only a matter of time they can keep him at the club.”
Discussing his next destination, Agbonlahor claims he will leave for a top-four side. Currently, that would involve a scenario with Phillips leaving Leeds for one of Man City, Liverpool, Manchester United or Chelsea.
“Eventually, soon, over the next couple of years, he will leave and go to a Champions League club, for sure,” the pundit added.
Phillips’ current deal at Leeds expires in summer 2024, with his agent recently admitting he was no immediate desires to quit.
“His desire was never to leave, it was to be rewarded and stay and play for the team he supported as a kid.
“Within the contract he signed in September 2019, we included provisions within it for if Leeds reached the Premier League, so it’s all set up for the top flight.
“We knew it was a bit of a gamble, but we knew Leeds would get there under [Marcelo] Bielsa and obviously they did.
“There may be clubs who are actually looking at Kalvin now because the more successful you are – playing for England in big tournaments – naturally breeds interest.
“But Kalvin is happy at Leeds and has no desire to move whatsoever. It’s more a case of ‘carry on what you’re doing for club and country’.”
Daniel James sends message to Leeds duo
Leeds made three big-name signings this summer in the form of Jack Harrison, Junior Firpo and Daniel James.
The latter arrived in a £25m deadline day move from Manchester United. He’s due to meet his new teammates later this week.
He could make an instant debut in Sunday’s huge clash with Liverpool at Elland Road.
“You’ve seen with the players he’s [Marcelo Bielsa] had over the years how much he’s improved them,” James told the Daily Telegraph. “That’s the thing I’m looking forward to most – seeing how he sees football.
“He obviously thinks I can fit in that system. But don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m going to walk into that team.
“Hopefully I can adapt quickly to the system but I think it’s going to take me a little while. It’s very tactical but he’s got a way of playing that I feel suits me.”
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