Former Leeds United defender Danny Mills believes that the club could be at risk of losing Kalvin Phillips if they fail to secure promotion this year.
Leeds will face Derby County in the Championship playoffs semi-finals with either Aston Villa or West Bromwich Albion ahead if they advance.
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In turn, it promises to be a difficult challenge for Marcelo Bielsa and his men, and Mills believes that it could have major repercussions on the club if they were to end up spending another season in the second tier of English football.
“He has been Leeds’ player of the season,” Mills told Football Insider. “Sometimes, it’s not about being the best, but it’s about being the most influential. Holding midfielder is a crucial role in a team like Leeds who push the full-backs forward and attack.
“Kalvin Phillips has a huge role to the play in the play-offs. He has showed an awful lot of good things about his game this season and he will need to continue that.
“Without a doubt, his future depends on the outcome. I’m pretty sure there will be Premier League clubs who will be interested in him. If Leeds don’t go up, the fear is, will he stay? Will the manager stay? This is why it’s so big for Leeds.”
The 23-year-old has made 44 appearances for Leeds so far this season, emerging as a pivotal figure in their midfield as they continue to chase a return to the Premier League.
Having missed out on second place in the Championship table to Sheffield United, the pressure will certainly be on them to now deliver in the playoffs and use that as a route to get back to the top flight.
Should they fail, Phillips might not be the only one that they have to worry about heading for the exit door…