By Jack Cunningham

20th Nov, 2021 | 10:45am

Marcelo Bielsa wowed by Klavin Phillips and compares him to Andrea Pirlo

Marcelo Bielsa has revealed just how much he rates Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports.

The Argentine talked about Antonio Conte as well, but he spent a lot of time talking about the 25-year-old.

Bielsa has moulded Phillips into the player he is today, and it was great to see him openly praising the England midfielder, and he also compared him directly to Andrea Pirlo.

He said: “He is a player who is a very good passer, both over short and long distances, and he always knows what’s happening around him.

“He knows how to assess danger, and he [makes] good decisions on the pitch. He is good at knowing which threat he needs to neutralise as a priority at any given time.

“These are qualities which can be quite difficult to notice in the sense that the players are deemed to either play well or play badly.

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“Yes, they have things in common.

“The area in which they play, for a start, and their understanding of the game. Like Pirlo, Phillips is a player who knows how to organise the possession play.”

High praise indeed for a quality player.

It is genuinely lovely to see Bielsa speak about Phillips in glowing terms, and he must be so proud of the progress that he has made.

Before Bielsa arrived at Elland Road, the 25-year-old was an attacking midfielder who was in and out of the team.

Now, look at him; he is a crucial player for both club and country, which is a testament to his hard work and Bielsa’s effort.

Of course, Leeds fans call Phillips the ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’, which has always been and will continue to be a great nickname.

However, to hear him directly compared to Pirlo by Bielsa is something else entirely and shows just how highly the Argentine rates Phillips.

Phillips is absolutely crucial to the Whites and everything they do, and it is clear that Bielsa is very proud of him, which is great to see.

In other Leeds United news, Lewis O’Brien has discussed his future after his failed summer move to Elland Road.