Paul Merson has urged Kalvin Phillips to snub Manchester United due to his allegiance to Leeds United while stating he may not improve them.
Kalvin Phillips has become one of the most talked-about midfielders in the Premier League, with interest from the top clubs growing. His performances for Leeds United since they were promoted to the Premier League have elevated his stature. In the meantime, he has also become a key part of England’s setup and had a solid Euro 2020 campaign.
Alex McLeish has been one among many, that have tipped Phillips to sign with Manchester United next summer, as the Red Devils lack a midfielder of his quality. His England midfield partner Declan Rice is also touted to join Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s charges, although they could only buy one of them realistically.
Phillips, who has spent his entire career at Leeds United, is a boyhood fan and understands the repercussions of playing for Manchester United, the Yorkshire’s club’s traditional bitter rivals. Many players have crossed the divide before, only to see their reputation tarnished in the eyes of the Leeds faithful.
Some have had a successful spell after making the switch, for instance, Rio Ferdinand and Eric Cantona, while Alan Smith did not enjoy a fruitful spell. The Old Trafford side has a major decision to choose between Phillips and Rice when the summer window opens. The Leeds United midfielder himself will have a huge call to take with regard to his future at Elland Road.
Former Arsenal star Paul Merson believes Phillips should stay away from a move to Manchester United and instead join Liverpool, who are also interested in him. In his column for the Daily Star, Merson stated the Leeds midfielder might not improve either Manchester United or Liverpool with his quality, although to protect his reputation as a Leeds star, joining the Red Devils might not be the best idea.
Merson said, “Kalvin Phillips should join Liverpool, not Manchester United. But I don’t think he takes either of those teams to another level. He’s a good player who would play every week, whichever one he signs for. But not a gamechanger.
“If he goes to Anfield, he will still be remembered as a Leeds United hero. But if he goes to Old Trafford, that all goes out the window. And a Leeds United player going to Manchester United? Wow. Better start well! That’s pressure.
“It all depends who the manager is by then as well. United are miles behind Liverpool. Unless they change the manager, he’s not winning trophies there. I think he plays every week for either club, personally. But I don’t think it will just be those two teams after him.”