Tim Sherwood has claimed that Leeds United Kalvin Phillips has reached “another level” under Marcelo Bielsa.
The midfielder is set to make his Premier League bow when the Whites face Liverpool on Saturday evening having made his England debut earlier in the week.
And Sherwood is convinced that he can cut it in the top flight following his impressive progression over the past couple of seasons.
During an interview with Sky Sports (Soccer Saturday, September 12th, 12pm), Phillips described himself as an “average” player prior to Bielsa’s arrival.
Responding to that comment, said: “I think the boy is being a bit modest there.
“He’s a good player. If you look at the attributes that he has, he’s got good strength, wonderful technique. He’s got great pace, he’s very tenacious. He covers the ground. He determines when the rest of the midfield press.
“What I like about him, when the ball is on to pass forward, he doesn’t just play safe.
“He likes to pass it between the lines. He’s encouraged to do it by his manager, and I think he’s taken him to another level to give him that confidence and realise and believe that he is actually a top player.”
Sherwood is absolutely right to shower Phillips with praise.
The Yorkshire Pirlo is a pass master, and his forward passing in particular is a real weapon for the Whites.
Over the course of his career, the Elland Road hero has averaged 7.84 balls into the final third per game and 1.32 balls into the box, as per Wyscout.
As a point of comparison, West Ham midfielder and England mainstay Declan Rice has averaged 6.21 and 0.54 respectively.
That incisiveness is largely what sets Phillips apart from his peers, and he deserves a lot of credit for his vision.
In other Leeds United news, Stan Collymore makes bold prediction ahead of Whites trip to Liverpool on Saturday
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