‘Very worried’ – Pundit makes claim on Leeds United amid Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha speculation

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Former Premier League midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker would be ‘very worried’ for Leeds United if both Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha left this summer. The Whites’ star duo have both been heavily linked with a move away from the club as several of Europe’s top sides circle.

Manchester City have earmarked Phillips as their number one midfield target to replace Fernandinho, while PSG are also reported to be interested. Raphinha, meanwhile, is being chased by Barcelona, as well as Premier League trio Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.

While Phillips was hampered by a serious hamstring injury last season, both he and Raphinha are regarded as Leeds’ key players, with the latter in particular playing a key role in avoiding relegation. Speaking on Football Daily, Reo-Coker believes that Phillips is the ‘heartbeat’ and Raphinha is the ‘flair’ of this Leeds side and both would be difficult to replace.

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He said: “I’d be very worried for Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips leaving. Kalvin Phillips would be the greater loss, not only is he a local lad, he’s the type of player that has become the heartbeat for that team and one thing about successful Premier League teams is having that spine.

“For me, I look at Phillips the same way as Declan Rice in that midfield role, when he’s not playing Leeds aren’t the same team and it’s the same for Declan Rice at West Ham, the influence and how big of a player he is for that team.

“When you talk on Raphinha, just the fact on when you’re in the Premier League and teams find you out, you do need that player that has that extra bit of creativity, flair, style, something different to open defences and that’s one of the big things.

“You can be a good team and continue to graft, Burnley had that style of play, everyone working hard but at certain times in the Premier League, you’re going to need players with flair, individuality magic to open these doors and that was lacking, I’d say, at Burnley.

“There’s only so long you can play in the Premier League with a team that works hard, solid foundation, you need that player that you wrap in cotton wool, who can makes things happen for you and get you extra goals.”

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