Athletic journalist Phil Hay has named Kalvin Phillips as his Leeds United Player of the Year, with a dramatic 2020 coming to an end.
Pablo Hernandez got a namecheck as well but Hay said it couldn’t be anyone else but Phillips over the year that saw Leeds finally win promotion back to the Premier League.
“The romantic in you wants to go for Pablo Hernandez,” Hay wrote in his review of the year.
“His eight-game burst at the end of last season was heaven-sent, a 35-year-old with stardust in his boots turning in the most sensational form of his career. But over 2020 in its entirety? Who else but Kalvin Phillips?
“Promotion, a medal for winning the title and an England debut that presents the chance of involvement at the European Championships next summer.
“When Phillips “quarterbacks” a game like he did at Everton last month, you cannot help but remember how it was that he struggled for games under Steve Evans. Marcelo Bielsa’s coaching colliding with Phillips’ self-confidence created a monster.”
Phillips is Leeds
There isn’t one Leeds United player who hasn’t been improved by Marcelo Bielsa, but Phillips has been the biggest transformation.
A decent midfielder before Bielsa arrived, he’s now been transformed into one of the best in his position in the country.
Phillips said that he was torn about an offer from Aston Villa when Leeds fell in the play-offs against Derby.
The pull of winning promotion with Leeds must have been huge for a local lad who’s Leeds through and through.
But there must have been a big part of Phillips who knew that his career would be best served by carrying on playing under the man who made him the player he is today.
Without Phillips, Leeds are a different side and replacing him or finding someone who can fill his boots when he’s out is a big problem for Leeds.
We don’t think it’s one that will be solved in January but we absolutely agree with Hay. Phillips is our player of the year, too.
In other Leeds United news, Dean Ashton ‘can’t believe’ one thing he saw from Leeds in win v West Brom