Kalvin Phillips was surprisingly substituted at half-time last night as Leeds United limped to a 0-0 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League.
Leeds were poor in the first-half and lucky to be level. Their performance level increased after half-time, coinciding with Pascal Struijk replacing Phillips.
Many thought that the 25-year-old had picked up an injury, yet it has since been revealed by Phil Hay that the decision to sub Phillips was tactical.
Marcelo Bielsa has built his side around Phillips over the last four seasons but has been using the England international as a man-marking centre-back in the last couple of games.
A combination of that and Leeds’ struggles seem to be impacting Phillips, with many fans not holding back as they delivered their verdict on his contribution at Brighton:
You don’t want to sit and speculate about Phillips, as he’s a Leeds fan and this season’s struggles will be hurting him just as much as anybody else watching from the stands.
However, he doesn’t look right, whether there’s an underlying fitness issue or the fact that he’s just played too much football for Leeds and England.
What’s clear is that he doesn’t need to be playing centre-back when Leeds have so many other options to play there. His position is midfield and Bielsa needs to get him back there as soon as possible.
Despite his disappointing contribution at Brighton, it’s worth remembering he was very good against Tottenham, dealing with Harry Kane well.
Fingers crossed this was a rare 45 minutes where he was below his usual standards.