By Mark Smith

31st May, 2022 | 10:00am

Phil Hay: Leeds United have big interest in James Garner & Lewis O'Brien even if Kalvin Phillips stays

Phil Hay has shared that Leeds United have eyes on central midfielders, even if Kalvin Phillips remains at Elland Road beyond this season.

The Athletic journalist has namedropped Manchester United wonder James Garner, who the Whites enquired about in the second half of last season ahead of this summer.

Lewis O’Brien is still on the list after Huddersfield failed at the final hurdle to earn promotion to the Premier League on Sunday afternoon [29 May] at Wembley.

Writing in his latest piece for The Athletic on Tuesday morning [31 May], Hay shared that Victor Orta is still looking at reinforcements in the middle of the park.

“Whether Phillips stays at Leeds or not, the club have eyes on other central midfielders,” he wrote.

“They made enquiries about Manchester United’s James Garner in the second half of the season and Garner’s stock has risen during a promotion year on loan with Nottingham Forest.

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“They have an existing interest in Lewis O’Brien, part of the Huddersfield Town side who lost to Forest in Sunday’s Championship play-off final. Leeds refused to stretch to Huddersfield’s asking price for O’Brien a year ago but they have continued to monitor him and he would fit an area of the squad where resources at Elland Road still look thin.”


Leeds need depth, and they have been crying out for it in midfield for years now.

Adam Forshaw should return from his injury to be fully fit for the start of next season, but even one problem in that area leaves Jesse Marsch with no senior cover.

Sam Greenwood played there on the final day, and Lewis Bate even made his debut in the final month of the season ahead of Mateusz Klich, proving the American isn’t set on his options.

Keeping Phillips and then bringing in a player like O’Brien would be perfect.

Sunday’s play-off final in the Championship proved he is exactly what we need – a busy maestro who wins tonnes of fouls for his side, can burst into the final third in possession but can also put in a meaty challenge if needed.

That is the description of a player who could be loved by the Elland Road faithful, and sadly for Carlos Corberan, that defeat could mean that he simply has to sell players.

Garner and O’Brien appear to be the two to watch this summer, we desperately need at least one of them.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites are readying a new bid for a blockbuster striker signing according to Phil Hay after Premier League survival