Is Kalvin Phillips the unlikely winner from Leeds United's pre-season campaign?

General view inside the stadium before the game - Elland Road

The Leeds United midfielder is not everyone's cup of tea but he has impressed in the club's recent friendlies.

Leeds United have a lot of midfielders in their ranks and it is widely regarded that 21-year-old Kalvin Phillips should be well down the pecking order when everyone is fit and available.

Mateusz Klich and Madger Gomes have now been added to a list that already included Liam Bridcutt, Eunan O'Kane and Ronaldo Vieira, and new Leeds manager Thomas Christiansen has rotated his players accordingly to ensure he gets a good look at all the options available to him over the last few weeks.

Newcastle United's Ayoze Perez in action with Leeds United's Kemar Roofe and Kalvin Phillips

So it may come as a surprise to some that Phillips has been one of the shining lights this summer, with his latest performance against Eibar proving emphatically that while he will always have his critics, he is a Leeds player through and through.

The youngster clearly loves the club and works his proverbial off every time he is on the pitch.  He may struggle for starts next season, but on recent evidence he will be in or around the match day squad more often than not.

There will be those still calling for a loan move or a permanent exit but the simple fact is Phillips has used this summer to prove to Christiansen that he is well worth keeping around.

He may not be the most talented of midfielders on the club's books, but he is one of the hardest working and most passionate, and it is no coincidence that Leeds looked a hell of a lot better when he came off the bench on Sunday.

Norwich's Wes Hoolahan in action with Leeds' Kalvin Phillips and Charlie Taylor

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch