By Daniel Feliciano

25th Mar, 2022 | 8:00pm

David James backs Kalvin Phillips to make 'exciting' Aston Villa move from Leeds

David James believes Kalvin Phillips could leave Leeds this summer and could potentially use Aston Villa as a stepping stone to an even bigger move in the future.

Phillips has missed the last three months of action with a hamstring injury but is widely considered one of the Whites’ best players.

But with their Premier League status up in the air following a really poor season, he has been linked with a move away from Elland Road to stay in the top flight and James told GGRecon that two teams in particular should be looking at him.

“I do believe Aston Villa and Manchester United should compete for Kalvin Phillips’ signature if he becomes available this summer,” he said.

“He’s one of my favourite players and that’s not solely due to his footballing talent, but he’s a wonderful human being too.

“The lure would naturally be Manchester United because of the size of the club but this is Kalvin Phillips who plays for Leeds United. But I also think playing under Steven Gerrard in that Aston Villa squad, and adding to that where Stevie wants to take them, I believe would be the right stepping stone for Kalvin Phillips.

“I don’t want to insinuate that Aston Villa are a stepping stone, but Gerrard will realistically want to manage a team that’s eventually competing for major honours, whether that’s Liverpool or another club.

“Kalvin could become a member of Stevie’s group at Villa and then if he does well then he can go with Stevie to the next club he moves onto. Once Stevie likes a player then he sticks with them, which is something you can sense from his relationships. I can see Stevie bringing success to Villa and that would be one exciting bus for Kalvin Phillips to be on.”

Keep at all costs

Leeds need to keep Phillips at the club at all costs, whether they’re in the Premier League or Championship next season.

The club have got plenty of assets that they can sell if they need to make money in the summer, with the likes of Raphinha and Ilan Meslier’s reputations rising.

But something Phillips has that those players don’t is the connection with the fans having grown up as a Leeds fan and come through the academy.

He has recently spoken about signing a new deal with the club and while it would almost certainly affect him career-wise to stay in the Championship when he’s clearly a Premier League level player, he could single-handedly get them back up in a year.

If he were to leave, you’d be shocked to see him join the old rivals Man United so Aston Villa would surely feel confident of being able to pip them but you can bet your bottom dollar they won’t be the only two teams in the queue looking for a deal.

In other Leeds news, ‘A lot to be desired’ – Sky journo blasts Leeds ace for what he did on Thursday night