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Home Leeds debut likely for 'complete' midfielder Phillips

Neil Redfearn is likely to hand teenager Kalvin Phillips a home debut against Cardiff on Saturday and the Leeds boss has hailed the midfielder's potential.

With Lewis Cook injured and Rodolph Austin serving the second game of a three-match ban, Phillips is the only available option for a central midfield berth in Saturday's Sky Bet Championship encounter with Cardiff City at Elland Road. And in praising the teenager's impact on his full debut at Wolves on Monday, Redfearn has also claimed Phillips possesses the whole package.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Redfearn said: “For me he’s been ready for a while. It was a good opportunity to put him in and I thought the boy acquitted himself well. He’s a beautiful build for a midfielder. He’s got a good touch and range of passing. The more he plays and the more he grows accustomed to his surroundings, you’ll see a different Kalvin Phillips.”

One aspect of Phillips' game that Redfearn neglected to mention was his goal-scoring ability. Phillips has scored a string of spectacular strikes for Leeds' Development Squad this season, and it is clear that he is an all-round midfielder to match both Alex Mowatt and Lewis Cook in possessing a range of abilities.

Leeds are particularly light in midfield options at present. In addition to Cook and Austin's absences on Saturday, Leeds are also without Italian Tommaso Bianchi and AC Milan loanee Zan Benedicic. On Monday against Wolves, Redfearn was forced to name Granddi N'Goyi on the bench, despite the French loan signing from Palermo lacking match fitness and yet to make a single appearance in a Leeds shirt.

Phillips, therefore, was a natural option for Redfearn, who had promised some more of his youngsters would get a first team opportunity, and the head coach felt he coped with the pressure in the thrilling 4-3 defeat at Molineux: “Monday was a baptism of fire for him, in front of a big crowd and on television, but he handled himself well."

Now Leeds fans will want to see if Phillips can produce the goods on home soil, where so many big signings have failed under the Elland Road spotlight, but where so many youngsters have thrived this season.

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