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Bournemouth Opinion: Cherries should sign Phillips and Clarke from Leeds

According to a report from Football Insider, Bournemouth are keen on bringing Leeds United duo Kalvin Phillips and Jack Clarke to the south coast in the summer, as manager Eddie Howe plots a sensational £25 million double raid on the Whites.

The same report claims that Phillips would cost around £15 million while Clarke might come in the £10 million bracket after breaking into the first team picture at Elland Road this season.

Football Insider also understands that the Cherries are interested in the duo irrespective of whether Leeds get promoted to the Premier League or stay in the Championship.

While Phillips has been one of the mainstays of Marcelo Bielsa’s first team playing in that holding midfield role in front of the backline, Clarke has emerged as one of the breakout stars of the Championship with some eye-catching displays down the flanks, though he is still not a first-team regular for the league games.

The 18-year-old has accumulated 2 goals and 2 assists from just 4 starts in the league, which has put him on the radar of several top Premier League clubs.

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Bournemouth have fearlessly splashed the cash on promising young British talents in the transfer market and manager Eddie Howe has been able to extract the best out of them, with the likes of Lewis Cook, Chris Mepham, David Brooks, Jordon Ibe and Dominic Solanke being amongst those to have arrived at the south coast in recent times.

Their policy of building a strong core of young English players has worked wonders for them in the Premier League and Phillips and Clarke are exactly the sorts of players that Bournemouth need to look at.

To put things into perspective, Clarke and Phillips would be excellent additions to Bournemouth’s ranks as the Cherries do need to add depth and quality to their central midfield and attacking options.

Clarke is a player in the same mould as David Brooks and given that the Welshman has been linked with moves to bigger clubs in the summer, the 18-year-old might prove to be a useful squad player for the club next season, though it is unlikely that he would get too many first-team opportunities in the Premier League.

Clarke is a technically-gifted winger with decent pace, flair and quality on the ball, who can develop into a fine player in the days to come and push the likes of Ibe and Lys Mousset for a first-team role.

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Phillips, on the other hand, is another academy graduate at Elland Road who has taken his game to a new level under Bielsa this season and has played a key role in the club’s surge for promotion.

Primarily a defensive midfielder by trade, the 23-year-old has also showcased his versatility to play at centre-back, which might be one of the reasons behind Bournemouth’s interest in the player.

He excels with his tackling and interception skills in the middle of the park and uses his strength and game awareness to shield the backline. To add to that, the youngster is a good passer who likes to dictate the tempo of the game by moving the ball around and holding things together.

Phillips would be the ideal man to partner Jefferson Lerma in the midfield and he is more than capable of ousting ageing players like Dan Gosling and Andrew Surman. Also, his presence might just put a little bit more pressure on Lewis Cook to start delivering the goods more consistently.

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Bournemouth should continue their hunt for young British talents in the transfer market and the acquisition of Clarke and Phillips would certainly be a step in the right direction for the club, as they look to consolidate in the Premier League in the years to come.

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