Leeds United earned an excellent three points against Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday evening as Raphinha scored his first goal for the club with a left-footed strike from 20 yards. While the Brazilian gained enormous plaudits for his goal, many heaped praise on Kalvin Phillips – including two West Ham United players and Ian Wright, on Instagram.
Phillips, 24, has made an excellent start to life in the Premier League with Leeds – having already broken into Gareth Southgate’s England side. Under Marcelo Bielsa, the Thorp Arch academy product has gained a new lease of life in the number four role – to our delight.
On Saturday, he was arguably tasked with one of his trickiest assignments yet. Indeed, Phillips had to cope with the electric James Rodriguez while offering support for flying full-backs Luke Ayling and Gjanni Alioski. With the scoreline reading 1-0 at full-time, it was clear to many supporters that Phillips had just put in one of his best 90-minute performances in a Leeds shirt.
He posted on Instagram after the match, underlining just how much of a team player he is. He applauded Raphinha after the Brazilian’s strike proved to be the difference, while also praising young goalkeeper Illan Meslier for another clean sheet – the Frenchman’s fourth of the season, taking him level with the likes of Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris in joint second.
Phillips has been in excellent form and his displays against Arsenal and Everton showed just how much the Whites missed him – during defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City, which resulted in 4-1 defeats. Under the watchful eye of Gareth Southgate, Phillips could not have produced a better performance – and perhaps, establishing himself even further in the England manager’s thoughts ahead of Euro 2021.
In response to his Instagram, West Ham United stars Declan Rice and Robert Snodgrass – an England teammate and a Leeds legend respectively – responded to his post, both praising the Leeds anchor. Arsenal hero Wright also gave his verdict on Phillips in the comments, claiming he was the best player on the park during the match.