Lee Sharpe believes Kalvin Phillips would be perfect for Man United


Sharpe would love Man United to make a move for Leeds' Kalvin Phillips.

Kalvin Phillips would be a good fit for Manchester United, says Sharpe (Picture: Getty)

Former Premier League star Lee Sharpe believes Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips would be a perfect signing for Manchester United.

Phillips, who was one of England’s brightest sparks at Euro 2020, has played for his boyhood club, Leeds, since 2010 and helped them win promotion back to the Premier League two seasons ago.

The 25-year-old holding midfielder, dubbed the ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’ by his own fans, was a mainstay in Marcelo Bielsa’s starting XI during Leeds’s first season back in the Premier League last term after a 14-year absence.

But Sharpe, who played 30 times for Leeds, believes Phillips doesn’t have to follow in the footsteps of Jack Grealish and leave his hometown club to chase titles… yet. 

‘I don’t think there’s any rush for him to leave Leeds. I think Leeds could be one of the surprise teams this season that are up there with West Ham, Leicester and Everton pushing for a top 6 place,’ he said.

‘He played nearly every minute of every game in the Euros so it just goes to show you don’t have to play in the top six to get in the team. His ability and performance have been noted by everyone in football.

Kalvin Phillips has been one of Leeds's best players in recent years.

Phillips has become a stalwart for Leeds (Picture: Getty)

‘There’s very few players that can play that position very well and he seems to be one of them. And if he was to go I’m sure United would be a good spot for him as a holding midfielder but a move from Leeds to United is a really tough move and tough ask.

‘He’d fit in anywhere the way he plays but would be a tough decision for him to leave Leeds, it’s his boyhood team.’

Another player who had a stellar Euro 2020 competition was United’s left-back Luke Shaw.

Sharpe has praised Ole Gunnar Solskaer’s man management of the former Southampton player who looks to be back to his best after a tough couple of years with injuries, coupled with a high-profile falling out with former Reds manager Jose Mourinho.

‘I thought he (Shaw) was one of the best in the world before Jose got there and before his injury,’ Sharpe said.

Sharpe believes Luke Shaw is one of the best left-backs in the world (Picture: Getty)

‘I think it took a little bit of time to get over his injury both physically and mentally and I think the fact that he did go through what he went through with Jose just goes to show what a manager’s faith, trust and confidence can do to a player.

‘But I think Ole does that, he puts faith in him, and I think he goes out and expresses himself. Defensively he’s tightened up a bit, attacking wise we all know what a threat he is.

‘He’s got a great engine and a great Euros will only help him for the rest of his career. He’s defensively one of the best, he’s fit strong, quick, has an eye for goal and I wouldn’t say there are many left-backs in the world that are better than him at this moment in time.’

United are expected to be without Shaw’s fellow England star Marcus Rashford for up to three months after he underwent surgery on a niggling shoulder injury that limited his impact in the summer.

Rashford made just five substitute appearances for the Three Lions during the tournament, and missed the first penalty in their shootout defeat to Italy in the fina at Wembley.

Marcus Rashford is expected to miss up to three months following shoulder surgery (Picture: Getty)

And Sharpe questioned his decision to play for his country instead of getting the procedure done sooner.

He said: ‘I think it’s a shame because he’s needed this operation before he went to the Euros. He had very limited minutes (in the Euros) and it might have been better for him to stay at home and have the operation a little sooner. But that obviously didn’t happen, and I think he’s going to be very tough to replace.

‘I don’t think the club will go out to buy someone to replace him because it is only two to three months and I think it’s a chance for people like Mason Greenwood to step up and show what he can do.’

Once Rashford returns, Greenwood may find it difficult to get regular first team minutes following the arrival of fellow England international Jadon Sancho.

However, Sharpe has backed the youngster to stay at Old Trafford, fight for his place and force his way back into international reckoning.

Mason Greenwood is expected to play a key role while Rashford is out (Picture: Getty)

He said: ‘I don’t think he needs to move away, I think he’s got bundles of talent and ability. I think he’s a natural goalscorer. He can probably play either on the left or right and eventually may even play as a number nine down the middle the way he scores goals.

‘Like I say he’s still young he’s still got a lot of learning to do and he’s got a lot of good players that can teach him what he needs to know.

‘I think also when you’re at a club like Manchester United playing 60-70 games a season with three cup competitions and a tough league schedule he’s also have some international involvement so I think they’ll be plenty of games to be involved in and I think he’ll get plenty of minutes on the pitch.’

Sharpe was speaking to the Metro in conjunction with William Hill.

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