Leeds utd

Farke could help seal instant promotion with Leeds swoop for “unbelievable” £10m titan – opinion

The Whites could take a huge step towards promotion with this signing.

Leeds United could be set to take another huge step towards a Championship promotion, if Daniel Farke is to secure the final star to complete his defensive overhaul.

Who are Leeds United signing this summer?

With Ethan Ampadu their first summer signing, and Karl Darlow set to be the next, it seems that bolstering the backline has been the new manager’s priority since his announcement earlier this month.

However, these subsequent deals, and even his appointment, was all prefaced by the Whites’ reported interest in Liverpool defender Nat Phillips.

Clearly boasting plenty of suitors within the Yorkshire club, the 26-year-old centre-back will likely remain a target of theirs, with just a £10m price tag certainly affordable given they unloaded £7m to get the Welshman from Chelsea.

Although his actual game time has been limited of late, he would still enter Elland Road with experience beyond most in the changing room, and most importantly, pedigree when it comes to earning promotion from the Championship.

How many games has Nat Phillips played for Liverpool?

Despite coming up through the Reds’ academy, Phillips has only featured 29 times for his boyhood club, which was only spurred on due to an injury crisis.

Few expected much from the hulking defender of whom few had heard much about, yet his displays on the biggest stage actually impressed many.

He clearly earned the approval of Jurgen Klopp, who was keen to praise the 6 foot 4 titan back after his 2020 debut:

“He’s a brilliant guy, smart guy, intelligent, everything. He’s not easy on the eye, he’s not Messi but who cares?

“In the air, he’s a monster! He was incredible. For the first game, I think everyone can imagine how nervy that must be after a long wait.”

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp would echo that sentiment a year later, claiming:

“The second goal really helps and Nat Phillips has had an unbelievable time, he’s full of confidence. He’s a throwback defender. He wants to make blocks, he wants to make tackles, he’s got great anticipation. He knows his limitations. Right now he must think he’s in dreamland.”

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Across 17 Premier League games in that 2020/21 campaign, Phillips miraculously maintained a 7.19 average rating, buoyed by his 84% pass accuracy, 1.2 interceptions, 1.3 tackles and 4.8 clearances per game, via Sofascore.

He would then translate these starring qualities into the Championship, as he spent six months of the 2021/22 season on loan at Bournemouth, cementing their promotion push with another 7.04 average rating and a further 4.1 clearances per game, via Sofascore.

That latter statistic would have ranked him joint-first among Leeds’ squad last season, with his rating higher than any within that squad too.

To acquire the stalwart on a permanent basis would be to welcome an experienced star into Farke’s fold, who is sure to offer further reinforcements to that fragile backline that is being targeted for improvement. The homegrown colossus even boasts five appearances in the Champions League too, as if his CV needed expanding.

Darlow and Ampadu’s additions mark two huge strides in the right direction, with Phillips set to add that final starring piece.

Provided they continue to showcase such proactivity in the market and continue to bolster elsewhere, namely finding a key striker to spearhead their promotion charge, this could all culminate in an instant return to the top flight

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