Leeds United have suffered a major injury blow with the news that Kalvin Phillips has suffered a Shoulder injury and will be out for up to six weeks.
Kalvin Phillips suffers shoulder injury against Wolves and could face up to six weeks on the sidelines— Leeds United (@LUFC) October 20, 2020
The injury does not require surgery so isn’t as bad as it could have been. Phillips is arguably the most important player to the way that Leeds play so this could prove to be a huge problem for Leeds to overcome.
Phillips came down hard on his shoulder against Wolves last night and didn’t look comfortable immediately after it - he also had a poor second half, which this goes a long way toward explaining.
Coincidentally, Josh Ramsbottom wrote a piece on here earlier today saying that Robin Koch is showing all of the attributes needed to fill in for the England midfielder, but with the current injuries to Liam Cooper and Diego Llorente that option becomes more difficult.
Last season Pascal Struijk played in that role and was very impressive. If Liam Cooper is fit for the Aston Villa match on Friday, then Struijk in front of Koch and Cooper seems like the best option Leeds have available. Struijk and Cooper at the back is unlikely as they are both left-sided players.
Makes sense now why Kalvin Phillips had such a poor second half last night, was playing with a dislocated shoulder ffs— Wayne (@wayneleedsfan) October 20, 2020
Marcelo Bielsa has a huge issue if Cooper isn’t fit. Then you are either looking at Koch and Struijk with an more makeshift ‘number 6’ replacing Phillips, or Koch and a less familiar centre-back behind Struijk. Although he is a far better number eight than six, it is a time where a fit Adam Forshaw would be a great thing to have available.
If Cooper is not fit and Struijk has to play DM then Luke Ayling could move into centre-back with Stuart Dallas at right-back and Ezgjan Alioski at left-back, or we could see a role for u23 defenders Oliver Casey or even Leif Davis (who has been playing as a left sided centre-back for the u23s and in pre-season. Dallas and Mateusz Klich are also options but even with their versatility it would be asking a lot.
This could be a huge problem for Leeds United, and how we deal with the absence of such a key player will go a long way to deciding where we end up at the end of this season. How do you think Leeds will cope with this absence? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @ThruItAllLUFC.