Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who is reportedly a target for Manchester United as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to put the final touches together on his current Old Trafford squad.
Phillips, 25, has risen to prominence over the past year or so since the Whites returned to the Premier League and also on the international stage as he was ever-present in Gareth Southgate’s England squad that made the final of Euro 2020.
This week has seen the Whites’ defensive midfielder linked with a switch to rivals Man Utd as they have ‘abandoned’ their interest in Declan Rice, according to the Daily Star.
Though, given Phillips’ family links to Leeds and the area, it does seem unlikely that a switch to Man Utd could realistically be on the cards.
Constant links away from Elland Road show that he is getting the wider recognition he has merited over the past couple of seasons and former Leeds and Man Utd defender Ferdinand is certainly a big fan of the 25-year-old.
Speaking during the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 journey in July, the player turned pundit was full of praise for the relationship Phillips and Rice had sparked up during their playing time together.
“This has been something that has just grown and grown throughout this tournament,” said Ferdinand. “You see Declan Rice and Phillips controlling, keep your eye on Declan Rice on the left, the way he comes across, protects the ball into the frontman – as a defender, that’s what you want, you do not want the ball going forward.
“What I love is the next bit, as the ball goes back, he is out to people, the intensity, the pace in which he does it. A lot of midfielders would think their job is done and sit in there and wait, but he’s aggressive.
“You get past Declan one time and bang, have that, Phillips comes behind him – this is what you call a partnership. You get past one, the other one is there, sitting there and clearing up. They do this as well as any others I’ve seen in an England shirt, as a pairing.”
Phillips’ performance during the Euros, and earlier in the calendar year for England, saw him crowned England senior player of the year, which was voted for by supporters.