Dom Matteo has clear message for Leeds United in Kalvin Phillips transfer debate | OneFootball

Dom Matteo has clear message for Leeds United in Kalvin Phillips transfer debate | OneFootball

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·9 April 2024

Dom Matteo has clear message for Leeds United in Kalvin Phillips transfer debate

Article image:Dom Matteo has clear message for Leeds United in Kalvin Phillips transfer debate

Kalvin Phillips has been backed to return to Leeds United in the summer transfer window by the club's former defender Dominic Matteo.

Phillips came through the youth ranks at Leeds before going on to make well over 200 senior appearances for the club.

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His form proved crucial in helping the Whites win promotion back to the Premier League while allowing the midfielder to become a regular for England for several years.

That form then earned him a move to Manchester City in the summer of 2022, for a fee reported to be worth around £45 million.

However, the midfielder struggled for game time at The Etihad, leading to him being loaned to West Ham United in the January transfer window.

So far though, that move has failed to work out, with Phillips coming in for scrutiny amid some costly moments.

As a result, with that move seemingly unlikely to become permanent, some reports have now claimed that Leeds have already made contact with Manchester City, about the possibility of re-signing Phillips.

Dominic Matteo assesses possible Leeds return for Kalvin Phillips

It's a deal that Matteo believes could work well for all involved.

Given his past connection with the club, a return to Elland Road for Phillips would surely excite Leeds fans.

Matteo believes the move would give the Whites some useful experience and depth should they win promotion back to the Premier League this season.

Asked for his thoughts on the possibility of a return to Yorkshire for Phillips, Matteo - who made 146 appearances for Leeds between 2000 and 2004 - told Football League World, via William Hill: “Gruev, Kamara and Rutter have impressed me this season, but the Premier League is a step up. I believe these three talented players can do well in the Premier League, but it’s so important to have a deep squad.

“Kalvin Phillips was superb for Leeds, he gave everything and it showed in his performances which got him an England call up and becoming a hugely valuable member of the England squad.

“Since the move to Manchester City, Phillips hasn’t played a lot and this isn’t good for the type of player Phillips is. He needs to be playing regularly and this hasn’t been the case.

“It’s all well being part of Manchester City set up, but Phillips needs game time. The loan to West Ham isn’t going as he would have wished and a move back to Leeds United could be a welcome one, for him to regain his confidence, match fitness and be part of a team where the fans will be on side when he puts in the type of performances he gave in his first spell.”

There are still four years remaining on Phillips' contract with Manchester City, securing his future at The Etihad until the end of the 2027/28 season.

Leeds in with a chance of promotion

There is indeed a good chance that Leeds will secure an immediate return to the Premier League this season.

Daniel Farke's side currently sit third in the Championship, just a point adrift of the automatic promotion places, with five games of their regular season still to be played.

They are next in action on Tuesday night, when they host Sunderland at Elland Road.

Return to Leeds could suit Kalvin Phillips

As Matteo says, it would seem to make sense for Phillips is he was indeed to return to Leeds United in the summer.

Right now, things do not seem to be going well on or off the pitch for the midfielder. He has been unlucky with some of the crucial moments that have gone against him at West Ham, but is still coming in for scrutiny for them.

That is making game time hard to come by for him even while on loan, and he simply does not look happy with his situation.

By contrast, Phillips would be back in a place where he is familiar and comfortable at Leeds, and where he knows he will get chances to play, and be backed by the fans.

As a result, a return to Elland Road would no doubt put him in a much happier position, that could bring the best out of him on the pitch again.

Having such a popular figure back may give the whole club a big lift as well, and if he can rediscover the form he produced the last time he was there, he could again become a key player for Leeds.

With that in mind, it does feel as though everyone concerned ought to be doing all they can to ensure this deal has a chance of happening once the market opens again at the end of the season.

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