Why Man United should make a move for Kalvin Phillips in the summer
In January, Football Insider (h/t Daily Express) had claimed that Manchester United were interested in signing Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips after scouts gave them ‘glowing reports’. However, no deal materialized last month.
The Red Devils bolstered their midfield options in January by signing Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon. They also signed Odion Ighalo from Shanghai Shenhua on loan until the end of the season, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer managing to strengthen his attack following Marcus Rashford’s long-term injury.
Manchester United have dropped down to seventh in the table after a 0-0 draw with Wolves on Saturday.
The Red Devils still appear light on numbers in the central midfield department, with Nemanja Matic and Fred being forced to play every game due to injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay. Alongside Fred, Matic has done decently in the middle of the park of late. The Serbian, nevertheless, is 31 and will be out of contract at the end of the season.
Whether or not United offer Matic a contract extension remains to be seen but Solskjaer should look for a long-term option in the summer. To that end, the Red Devils must rekindle their interest in Kalvin Phillips.
Phillips, 24, started his career at Leeds and has been there ever since. He was a crucial part of Marcelo Bielsa’s side last season and has played 27 times so far this term, scoring a goal and registering two assists.
As per WhoScored, Phillips has averaged 2.9 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 1.3 clearances and 0.4 blocks in 27 Championship appearances this season. He has scored a goal and registered two assists. As far as Matic is concerned, he has averaged 1.9 tackles, 0.4 interceptions, 0.8 clearances and 0.1 blocks in eight Premier League appearances this season. Unlike Phillips, the Serb is yet to contribute with a goal or an assist. [Courtesy: WhoScored]
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Phillips has better numbers than Matic in every department and going purely by the stats, the Englishman would be an instant upgrade on the United midfielder.
At the age of 24, Phillips has shown enough potential. All in all, Solskjaer must make it a priority to sign the holding midfielder in the summer – regardless of whether or not Leeds achieve promotion.