Keith Andrews says Bielsa playing Leeds star out of position didn't work at all

Leeds United's Ben White during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road on January 11, 2020 in Leeds, England.

Ben White was Kalvin Phillips's replacement in Leeds United's midfield.

Ben White of Leeds United

Keith Andrews has heralded Kalvin Phillips's return for Leeds United.

The Whites midfielder was sent off against QPR last month and subsequently received a three-match ban.

In that time, Leeds lost two of the three games that Phillips sat out, before picking up four points from a possible six since the 24-year-old has returned from suspension.

Ben White, a centre-back, was deployed as a midfielder by Marcelo Bielsa in Phillips's absence, with Adam Forshaw also sidelined through injury.

 

But former West Brom star and Sky Sports pundit Andrews claims that tweaking White's position didn't really work as effectively as Bielsa thought.

He said to the EFL podcast today: "They played Ben White there against Nottingham Forest and as much of an admirer as I am of Ben White, it just didn’t quite work. It’s not his natural position.

“I’m sure Kalvin Phillips had a little bit of downtime and he cranked himself up. He played in the Under-23s game last week to get some minutes and match sharpness and there’s no coincidence that performances have taken an up-turn since his arrival back into the team.”

Andrews is right in saying that it didn't work. Phillips is arguably the best midfielder in the Championship, evident by the report Leeds demanded £30 million for him last summer [The Sun].

And to ask a centre-back to do an adequate job of replacing him just wasn't going to happen when even some very talented Championship players in Phillips's position couldn't have filled the void left by him.

Leeds United's Ben White during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road on January 11, 2020 in Leeds, England.

 

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