Jamie Carragher has heaped the highest praise possible on Kalvin Phillips after the Leeds United midfielder put on a masterclass against Everton.
Leeds won 1-0 and Phillips was peerless in the middle of the park.
In fact, Carragher went as far as to say it was one of the best performances by an individual he’s seen in the Premier League all season.
Talking on Monday Night Football (Sky Sports, Monday, 10.30pm), Carragher did a segment on Phillips and remarked on how he exploited Ancelotti’s system to always have space in the middle.
He also compared him to Man United’s Paul Scholes.
“Kalvin Phillips, he was fantastic,” Carragher said.
“It was like a Paul Scholes performance, that’s the best way to describe it. He ran the game from minute one to 90.
“I expected to see something different [from Everton] in the second half but the space he had was unbelievable.
“They had to do something to stop him. If you’re coming up against Leeds who are really brilliant as a team he has to be a major part of your team talk, exactly the way Scholes was.
“That was one of the best performances I’ve seen from an individual this season. They had to do something and they didn’t. It’s one of the main reasons they lost the game.”
Cogs in the Bielsa system
Leeds are as far removed from a one-man team as you can get.
Bielsa’s players are like cogs to him and they all fit together perfectly to create the swashbuckling, attacking football we know and love.
And the rest of the country is getting there, too.
However, the issue for Leeds is that Phillips is the single cog in the 4-1-4-1 formation and without him the rest of the side can’t function as well.
And there’s no direct replacement for him at Leeds at the moment.
The hope is that Diego Llorente will come back to full fitness and be able to step into Robin Koch’s spot in centre defence if Phillips is out again.
Koch has played holding midfield for Germany and is the only real option Leeds have got.
However, for a newly promoted side to be talked about like this is quite something. And we couldn’t be any prouder for Phillips after he showed loyalty to the club by turning his back on the Premier League in the summer of 2019 to give the Championship one last crack with Leeds.
10 games into his Premier League career and he’s playing for the club he loves and being talked about as one of the best players in the top-flight. That’s quite something.
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