Big things were expected of Alex Mowatt at Leeds United.
A Doncaster-born academy graduate who joined the club’s famed academy at the age of nine, the highly-rated midfielder produced some moments of sheer class in a Leeds shirt.
But the odd long-range rocket, and a 2014 Young Player of the Year award, counted for nothing when he failed to kick on and establish himself in the first-team. These days, Mowatt is on loan at Oxford United in League One after a disappointing stint at local rivals Barnsley – and he is not even a regular starter in the third tier.
And if you ask many Leeds fans, the same fate could befall Kalvin Phillips.
Like Mowatt, supporters are desperate for Phillips to make the grade. He too is a player who has risen through the Thorpe Arch ranks to command a place in the centre of the park but also appears to have hit something of a barrier in his development.
At the start of the season, Phillips looked like a dynamic and forceful midfielder with a new-look goal-scoring streak but, as Leeds’ season stutters to a halt, so have his performances.
Phillips was nothing short of a spectator during the 3-0 home defeat to Wolves in midweek and it seems that Leeds fans are quickly running out of patience with a player dubbed the new Mowatt for the wrong reasons.
My comments last year about Phillips being the next Alex Mowatt looks a great shout....but you need to remember he loves Leeds and he is a local lad....
— Daniel Smith (@Smitty_DanSmith) March 8, 2018
Good for 5 games a season, liability in the rest. Always has been, always will be.— Phil Hardaker (@philjh1975) March 8, 2018
Kalvin Phillips is like Mowatt, everyone wants him to do well. He’s local lad that clearly loves the club but he’s just not good enough. Too slow, doesn’t effect the game & just bullied. Like Mowatt, league one level #lufc— Kirsty Stanley (@stanners_1982) March 8, 2018
He’s miles too slow & crumbles when there’s the tiniest bit of pressure. He looked good against the likes of Burton, but against the big teams he’s miles off.— Kirsty Stanley (@stanners_1982) March 8, 2018
I’m sad to say after all my hard work of defending him it’s time I agree that Kalvin Phillips is not very good #LUFC— Sam Bird (@SamBirdyy) March 8, 2018
I want to like him. He has a lovely smile and great hair. But Phillips will be follow Mowatt and be in a lower division before long im sure of it— JWC (@TheJackyCalv) March 8, 2018
Kelvin Phillips heading in the same direction as Alex Mowatt, great first season but then unable to push on from that, much better engine on him but now badly lacking the hard tackling that forced Bridcutt out of the starting 11 PH should bring in Ideguchi from his loan #lufc— Wayne Monaghan (@White_never_red) March 8, 2018
Phillips has Mowatt Syndrome. Great moments in games but never has a great game overall. https://t.co/1pohbx7oZ5— UKC Whites (@UKCWhites) March 8, 2018
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