'Without a doubt' – Exclusive: Paul Robinson says Leeds U23 ace must get league debut v Millwall
We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United…
Paul Robinson has said that Bielsa must take a “gamble” and replace Kalvin Phillips with 19-year-old Alfie McCalmont.
Phillips was sent off for a reckless challenge late on in the 1-0 defeat to QPR on Saturday.
He’s been suspended for three games, starting with the Championship clash against Millwall next Tuesday.
Talking exclusively to MOT Leeds News Robinson was unequivocal when asked if McCalmont should be the player to replace Phillips.
“Without a doubt,” Robinson said. “However, it’s a blow that we haven’t got someone equally as good to bring in.
“McCalmont is 19-years-old and he has only played 65 minutes in the League Cup.
“Players of that age, and of little experience, being used for a Premier League push… it’s a gamble. However, it’s a gamble they have to take.
“There clearly isn’t the strength in depth to cope with losing the likes of Phillips for three games.”
McCalmont has been on the bench four times in the league, including the last game against QPR, but has never played a minute in the Championship.
The alternative for Bielsa would be to move Ben White into the defensive-mid position, which happened against Huddersfield following a suspension for five yellow cards for Phillips.
Leeds won that game 2-0 but White looked out of place in midfield.
The other issue with that is that centre-back back-up Gaetano Berardi missed the last game for Leeds through injury.
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