Redknapp claims Bielsa, Phillips ‘clash’ as ‘big clubs courting’

Jamie Redknapp believes “there’s something not quite right” between Kalvin Phillips and Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa.

Phillips played as a centre-back rather than in midfield as Leeds took on Brighton on Saturday.

Bielsa took Phillips off at the break, with Pasal Struijk replacing the England international as the game ended goalless.

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Phillips was also deployed in defence against Spurs and Redknapp claims the 25-year-old isn’t happy about being played out of position.

Redknapp told Sky Sports: “I think there’s something not quite right. He was definitely detailed to play in defence, but I saw him drift into midfield.

“I listened to the interview he did after the Tottenham game, where he had to hold back a few times. He’s an England midfielder, he doesn’t want to play as a defender.

“Needs must sometimes, where you have to do whatever is best for the team, but right now Leeds have other defenders that can do the job.

“He wants to be doing the job he’s doing for England – that comes with frustration and comes, to a certain extent, with ego as well.

“He’ll know right now, after the Euros, people are talking about him, big clubs are courting him, people want him, he doesn’t want to be playing centre-back for Leeds.”

“It feels like there’s definitely a clash with him and Bielsa right now.

“If I was Bielsa, falling out with players isn’t the right thing to do when results are bad. This might be the start of something that isn’t quite right at Leeds.”

Biesla explained his decision to withdraw Phillips, insisting it was “a question of the function collectively”.

Bielsa told Sky Sports: “It was a change because I thought the characteristics of Pascal [Struijk] were better suited to the game.

“The game position he had had a lot in common with Tottenham and I thought that forming the back four with Llorente, Phillips, Cooper and Firpo would help us to neutralise them.

“We started the game like that, but it wasn’t the correct decision. After, Phillips moved into midfield and it’s very likely that the adaptation didn’t help Kalvin as he was playing well as a centre-back.

“But I insist it wasn’t a question of the names, it was a question of the function collectively.”


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