Ralph Hasenhuttl is a man who knows how to develop young talent.
During his time in charge of RB Leipzig, Timo Werner became Germany’s first-choice striker, Ademola Lookman played the best football of his career, Youssuf Poulsen evolved into Denmark’s main man and Dayot Upamecano was transformed into one of the most talented defensive prospects in Europe.
So just imagine what he could do with Kalvin Phillips. According to the Sun (14 April, page 61), Hasenhuttl’s current employers, Southampton, are keen to raid Leeds United for Kalvin Phillips this summer.
If the Whites’ promotion dreams blow up in their face, they may be forced to sell with Phillips reported to be valued at £20 million.
The academy graduate has gone from strength to strength under Marcelo Bielsa but, if Premier League football at Elland Road slips through his fingers, St Mary’s could be the perfect next step.
The 23-year-old has all the raw ability to become a complete, modern-day midfielder, blessed with a superb range of passing and the intelligence to flit effortlessly between a role in the centre of the park and in a back three.
Just look at the rapid rise of Naby Keita, a similarly dynamic and forceful midfield presence, under Hasenhuttl at Leipzig. After two outstanding seasons, he was on his way to Liverpool for £52.75 million (Liverpool Echo).
So even the most ardent Leeds fan could forgive Phillips for considering his future if the Whites fall a the final hurdle.