Kalvin Phillips is the star Leeds should fear losing most this summer

Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips vies for possession with Sheffield Wednesday's Steven Fletcher  during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday at Elland...

Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips is reportedly being lined up by a Premier League side ahead of the summer.

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road on April 13, 2019 in Leeds, England.

With Marcelo Bielsa taking Leeds to the cusp of promotion to the Premier League, the Elland Road faithful should probably prepare themselves for a summer that sees a number of their key players being linked with moves elsewhere.

Kalvin Phillips appears to be the first to be attracting attention. The Sun on Sunday (14/4; page 61) reported at the weekend that Southampton are keen on the midfielder, but will find landing the £20 million-rated 23-year-old near-on impossible should Leeds get over the line in the Championship promotion race.

 

And it is no surprise that Leeds have reportedly taken that stance, as it could certainly be argued that the academy graduate would be the toughest player for the club to try and replace if he did leave.

Of course, Pablo Hernandez has established himself as the talisman this term, with 12 league goals and assists. But given what Phillips brings to Bielsa's side, losing him may be the biggest blow next to losing the head coach himself at the end of the season.

Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips vies for possession with Sheffield Wednesday's Steven Fletcher  during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday at Elland...

Phillips has been outstanding throughout the campaign, and looked to be back to his best at the weekend as Leeds produced a 1-0 win against Sheffield Wednesday that took them three points clear of Sheffield United in the race for second.

Phillips broke up play exceptionally, and once again showed the composure on the ball that have left some supporters to name him as Yorkshire's Pirlo or Baresi.

MIDDLESBROUGH, UK 9TH FEBRUARY. Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United scores his team's first goal to make it 1-1 in the 102nd minute during the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough...

The fact that there is no obvious replacement within the Leeds squad for Phillips symbolises how difficult it would be to sign someone to take his place if he did leave in the future.

And while some would, quite understandably, make the case that Hernandez is irreplaceable like no other, Saturday's win was the perfect reminder of why keeping Phillips would be one of the best pieces of business that Leeds could do this summer.

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