Kalvin Mark Phillips (born 2 December 1995) is an English professional footballer who plays for Leeds United as a central midfielder. He plays mainly as a defensive midfielder and can also play as a centre back.[3]

Kalvin Phillips
Kalvin Phillips Leeds United.jpg
Phillips playing for Leeds United in 2015
Personal information
Full name Kalvin Mark Phillips[1]
Date of birth (1995-12-02) 2 December 1995 (age 24)[2]
Place of birth Leeds, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.77 m)[2]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Leeds United
Number 23
Youth career
2003–2010 Wortley Juniors
2010–2014 Leeds United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2014– Leeds United 157 (11)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15 February 2020 (UTC)

Club careerEdit

After progressing through Leeds United's youth ranks, Leeds-born Phillips signed his first professional deal with the club in the summer of 2014, retaining him for the 2014–15 season.[4][5]

2014–15 seasonEdit

During the 2014–15 season, Phillips became the captain of the Development Squad and Under 18's team. Phillips joined the first team for the trip to Sunderland in the FA Cup third round on 4 January 2015; he was unused substitute in a 1–0 defeat. On 30 March 2015, Leeds Academy coach Jason Blunt revealed that he felt the form of Phillips for the Under 18's and Development Squad would see Phillips become a future first team fans favourite.[6]

Phillips made further appearances on the bench for the first team in league games over the following months before making his professional debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers in 4–3 defeat on 6 April 2015.[7] Along with Sam Byram, Charlie Taylor, Alex Mowatt and Lewis Cook; Phillips was the latest graduate of a promising group of Academy players to regularly feature under former youth boss Neil Redfearn in the 2014–15 campaign.

On 11 April 2015, Phillips retained his position in the Leeds starting 11, making his home debut against Cardiff City at Elland Road. Phillips marked the game with his first senior goal in only his second appearance, although the match finished in a 2–1 defeat to Cardiff.[8] At the end of the season, he was offered and accepted a new two-year contract.[3][9]

2015–16 seasonEdit

On 31 July 2015, Phillips was given the number 27 shirt for the upcoming 2015–16 season.[10] However, with Redfearn replaced as head coach during the summer, Phillips played just 10 league games over the course of the season under head coaches Uwe Rosler and then Steve Evans.

2016–17 seasonEdit

In June 2016, only days after the appointment of new head coach Garry Monk, highly rated Phillips was offered a new 3-year contract at Leeds.[11] On 23 June, Phillips signed the new 3-year contract extension to stay at the club until the summer of 2019.[12]

On 27 August 2016, Phillips scored his first goal of the 2016–17 season, with a stunning long range free kick against Nottingham Forest in a 3–1 defeat.[13]

After an injury to captain Liam Bridcutt in September 2016,[14] Phillips alongside Eunan O'Kane or Ronaldo Vieira established himself as an important player at the heart of Leeds' central midfield.

Phillips' impressive form for Leeds saw him win the EFL Championship Young Player Of The Month Award for October 2016.[15] On 9 December 2016, Phillips was given his first professional red card after giving away a penalty in a 2–0 defeat against then league leaders Brighton & Hove Albion by turning away a goal-bound shot with his arm, the penalty was converted by Glenn Murray.[16] On 7 March 2017, Phillips received his 2nd red card of the season in a 1–1 draw against Fulham.[17]

2017–18 seasonEdit

On 6 August 2017, the opening day of the 2017–18 Championship season, Phillips scored a brace to ensure Leeds beat Bolton Wanderers 3–2.[18] On 9 September he scored his third goal of the season in the match against Burton Albion.[19] His fifth of the season, came on 27 October 2017 in a 1–2 defeat in the Yorkshire Derby against Sheffield United.

He started the season partnering O'Kane in the heart of Leeds' midfield, however after a good start to the season, Leeds suffered a lack of form prior to the sacking of head coach Thomas Christiansen in February 2018,[20] with Phillips and O'Kane finding little spells in and out the side with Vieira given more opportunities and the arrival of January 2018 signing Adam Forshaw.[21]

He ended the season with 7 goals and 3 assists, which represented his best scoring season of his career so far.[22]

2018–19 seasonEdit

On 19 July 2018, Phillips revealed he had been training as a centre back and a deep-lying playmaker ahead of the 2018–19 season, as part of new Head Coach Marcelo Bielsa's tactics.[23] As the season started, he was deployed as the holding midfielder in a 4–1–4–1 formation.[24]

On 22 August, he made his 100th senior appearance for Leeds in a 2–2 draw against Swansea City.[25] Phillips was utilised as a deep-lying defensive midfielder for Leeds under Bielsa, Phillps also would play as a centre back if Leeds' lined up in a 3-man defence.[3] In October 2018, his impressive form in his new position's under Bielsa's management,[26] saw Phillips briefly linked with a possible call up to Gareth Southgate's England national team.[27][28] After a knee injury to Captain Liam Cooper on 1 December 2018 in a 1–0 win against Sheffield United,[29] Phillips deputised several games playing as an outright centre back until Coopers return in mid-January.[30]

After returning to his defensive midfielder position, he scored his first goal of the season in Leeds' 1–1 draw against Middlesbrough on 9 February 2019, with Phillips scoring the equaliser in the 11th minute of injury time.[31]

In March 2019 he was selected to the EFL 2018–19 Championship Team of the Season.[32] On 4 May 2019, Phillips was named the Yorkshire Evening Post Player of the Year for the 2018/19 season.[33]

During the 2018–19 Leeds United F.C. season, Phillips played 46 games in all competitions, scoring 1 goal, after Leeds finished the regular season in third place after dropping out of the automatic promotion places with 3 games left after a defeat to 10 man Wigan Athletic on 19 April,[34] Leeds qualified for the playoffs, Phillips started the playoffs fixtures versus sixth-placed Derby County, despite Leeds taking a 1–0 win at Pride Park into the home leg at Elland Road, Leeds lost 2–4 in the 2nd leg, with Leeds down to 10 men after the red card of Gaetano Berardi,[35] and saw Derby progress to the final against Aston Villa 3–4 on aggregate.[35]

2019–20 seasonEdit

In July 2019, after being linked with a move to newly promoted Premier League side Aston Villa, with Leeds putting a £30 million transfer valuation on Phillips,[36] Leeds opened contract talks with Phillips over a new contract.[37] Later that month Leeds entered into contract talks with Phillips,[38] On 8 August 2019, it was revealed that Leeds had rejected bids for Phillips during the 2019 transfer window in order to keep him at the club,[39] with bids for Phillips rejected around the £27 million pound mark.[40]

In September 2019, he signed a new 5-year contract with Leeds.[41] On Leeds United's centenary week, Phillips scored the winning goal against Birmingham City, with the game finishing 1–0 which took place in front of another large crowd at Elland Road.[42]

In November 2019, Phillips' Leeds form in defensive midfield under Marcelo Bielsa saw calls for him to be called up to the England national team squad.[43][44][45][46] On 6 January 2020, Phillips was heavily praised for his performance against Premier League side Arsenal in a 1-0 defeat in the FA Cup.[47] England manager Gareth Southgate watched Phillips in January 2020 ahead of a possible call up.[48] On 18 January, Phillips was sent off against Q.P.R. in a 1-0 defeat.[49]

Style of playEdit

After starting his career as a box-to-box central midfielder, before the start of the 2018/19 season Phillips was converted into a defensive midfielder by Marcelo Bielsa.[50] He is known for his range of short sharp passing, long ball distribution and ability to start attacks whilst covering his defensive duties, with him described as a 'linchpin'.[37]

Marcelo Bielsa described his style "He's very good at getting the ball and putting it into another space, a better space. He's very good when he has to cover the team when our full-backs go in attack. And when we are outnumbered, he is very good with his defending."[51] Phillips was also converted into playing as a centre back under Bielsa.[52][53]

For his similar style of play, Phillips was given the nickname "Yorkshire Pirlo" by Leeds fans in homage to the former deep-lying playmaker Andrea Pirlo.[54][55]

Career statisticsEdit

As of match played 15 February 2020
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup EFL Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Leeds United 2014–15[56] Championship 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 1
2015–16[56] Championship 10 0 0 0 0 0 10 0
2016–17[56] Championship 33 1 2 0 5 0 40 1
2017–18[56] Championship 41 7 1 0 1 0 43 7
2018–19[56] Championship 42 1 0 0 2 0 2 0 46 1
2019–20[56] Championship 29 1 1 0 2 0 32 1
Total 157 11 4 0 10 0 2 0 173 11




  1. ^ "Notification of shirt numbers: Leeds United" (PDF). English Football League. p. 36. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Kalvin Phillips". 11v11.com. AFS Enterprises. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Bielsa highlights centre-back options at Leeds United but would welcome one more". Yorkshire Evening Post. 4 August 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  4. ^ "United youngsters sign up". Leeds United F.C. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Leeds United: Rising star to commit to Whites". Yorkshire Evening Post. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Leeds United: Phillips can become a real fans' favourite". Yorkshire Evening Post. 30 March 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Wolverhampton Wanderers v Leeds United". BBC Sport. 6 April 2015.
  8. ^ "Leeds United 1 Cardiff City 2: Phillips goal a rare highlight in defeat". Yorkshire Evening Post. 12 April 2015. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  9. ^ "Kalvin Philips: Leeds United midfielder signs new deal". BBC Sport. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  10. ^ "2015/16 squad numbers announced". Leeds United F.C. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  11. ^ "Leeds United: Phillips commits future to Whites". Leeds United F.C. 17 June 2016. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Kalvin commits future to United". Leeds United F.C. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Nottingham Forest 3 Leeds United 1". BBC Sport. 27 August 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Garry Monk delivers devastating injury update on Leeds star: Could be out for two months". Express. 30 September 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  15. ^ "EFL: Kalvin Phillips named Young Player of the Month". Leeds United F.C. 21 November 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  16. ^ "Phillips hands Brighton the lead". Sky Sports. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  17. ^ "Phillips gets two-match ban from FA after picking up third red card of the season". Yorkshire Evening Post. 8 March 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  18. ^ "Report: Bolton Wanderers 2–3 Leeds United". Leeds United F.C. 6 August 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  19. ^ "Leeds Vs Burton Albion". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  20. ^ "Leeds dismiss manager Thomas Christiansen after eight months". BBC Sport. 4 February 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  21. ^ Lee Sobot (18 January 2018). "Done Deal: Adam Forshaw joins Leeds United in £4.5m deal from Middlesbrough". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  22. ^ "Leeds United Top Scorers". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  23. ^ "Kalvin Phillips on how Marcelo Bielsa has been training him as a centre-back this summer". Leeds Live. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  24. ^ "Leeds United: Midfielder Phillips is lynchpin of the Bielsa revolution". Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  25. ^ "FULL TIME: Swansea City 2 Leeds United 2: Hernandez back to haunt Swans as Whites go top". Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  26. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal, Everton among 12 Prem sides scouting Leeds ace". Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  27. ^ "Kalvin Phillips for England? Mason Mount's call-up shows the Championship is on Gareth Southgate's radar". Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  28. ^ "Kalvin Phillips on his England dream after Gareth Southgate calls up Mason Mount". Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  29. ^ "Injury Update: Liam Cooper & Stuart Dallas". Yorkshire Post. 5 December 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  30. ^ "KALVIN PHILLIPS DELIVERS HONEST VERDICT ON PLAYING CENTRE-BACK FOR LEEDS UNITED". Football League World. 8 April 2018. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  31. ^ "Leeds' Kalvin Phillips rescues point at Boro after Clarke taken to hospital". The Guardian. 9 February 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  32. ^ "EFL awards: Che Adams, Teemu Pukki & Billy Sharp on Championship shortlist". BBC Sport. 26 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  33. ^ a b "From Kalvin Phillips to Rio Ferdinand – every YEP Leeds United Player of the Year since 2002". YEP. 4 May 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  34. ^ "Leeds 1 Wigan 2". BBC Sport. 19 April 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  35. ^ a b "Leeds United 2–4 Derby County (Derby win 4–3 on agg)". BBC Sport. 15 May 2019.
  36. ^ "Leeds slap huge £30m asking price on star man amid Villa links". TeamTalk. 30 June 2019.
  37. ^ a b Joe Urquhart (8 July 2019). "Leeds United open contract talks with midfielder Kalvin Phillips". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  38. ^ "Kalvin Phillips: Leeds United in talks with midfielder over new deal". BBC Sport. 17 July 2019.
  39. ^ "Angus Kinnear interview – part two: Leeds United rejected £35m worth of bids, strengthened and addressed Financial Fair Play requirements". Yorkshire Evening Post. 8 August 2019.
  40. ^ "Kalvin Phillips is Leeds' next homegrown gem yet his school tried to warn him off football". 26 August 2019 – via The Athletic.
  41. ^ "Kalvin Phillips: Leeds United midfielder signs new contract". 9 September 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  42. ^ "Leeds 1–0 Birmingham: Kalvin Phillips hits United winner at Elland Road". 19 October 2019 – via www.skysports.com.
  43. ^ "Kalvin Phillips interview: The best defensive midfielder in England?". 26 November 2019 – via www.skysports.com.
  44. ^ "Kalvin Phillips interview: The best defensive midfielder in England?Leeds star is better England pick than Rice, Winks, claims pundit". 21 November 2019 – via Talksport.
  45. ^ "The picture facing Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips if Gareth Southgate is to grant midfielder an England call". 20 November 2019 – via Yorkshire Evening Post.
  46. ^ "Could #LUFC's Kalvin Phillips be an option for Gareth Southgate's #ThreeLions at #EURO2020?". 15 November 2019 – via BBC Five Live Twitter Page.
  47. ^ "Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips passed Arsenal Premier League test, now it's Sheffield Wednesday wizard Barry Bannan". 10 January 2020 – via Yorkshire Evening Post.
  48. ^ "He's playing in the Championship and developed outside 'the system' but Kalvin Phillips is ready for England". 15 January 2020 – via The Athletic.
  49. ^ "Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips apologises to fans for QPR red card and vows to help make promotion dream come true". 26 January 2020 – via Yorkshire Evening Post.
  50. ^ "The evolution of Kalvin Phillips under Marcelo Bielsa – in their own words". Leeds Live. 6 December 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  51. ^ "Leeds United: Midfielder Phillips is lynchpin of the Bielsa revolution". Yorkshire Evening Post. 17 August 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  52. ^ "Kalvin Phillips can add a new dimension to Leeds United's defence". Yorkshire Evening Post. 1 August 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  53. ^ Lee Sobot (8 July 2019). "Pontus Jansson picture puts Leeds United centre-back situation back under microscope". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  54. ^ "Leeds United 'The Yorkshire Pirlo' – key midfielder's controbution leaves these Leeds fans delighted". Football League World. 9 February 2019. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  55. ^ "From Kalvin Phillips to Rio Ferdinand – every YEP Leeds United Player of the Year since 2002". Yorkshire Evening Post. 4 May 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  56. ^ a b c d e f "Statistics". Soccerbase. Archived from the original on 6 April 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  57. ^ "EFL Awards 2019: Shortlists revealed". EFL. 26 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.

External linksEdit