‘Phillips is a better midfielder than Xhaka’ – Ex-Leeds star says White & in-demand midfielder would ‘walk into’ Arsenal’s team


Leeds star Kalvin Phillips is “a better midfielder than Granit Xhaka”, says Noel Whelan, while Whites loanee Ben White is another who would “walk into the Arsenal team”.

A number of those currently chasing down promotion out of the Championship at Elland Road have been drawing admiring glances from the Premier League.

Academy graduate Phillips has long been considered a prized asset at Leeds and was tied to a five-year contract in September in an effort to bring transfer talk to a close.

White, meanwhile, has starred since swapping life at Brighton for that in West Yorkshire on a season-long agreement, with the 22-year-old defender considered to be destined for a big-money move at some stage.

Former Leeds striker Whelan believes Arsenal could do worse that look to the second tier for inspiration, with there two players working under Marcelo Bielsa who would slot seamlessly into the fold at Emirates Stadium.

“Arsenal don’t have a proper defensive midfielder or a top centre-back,” Whelan told Football Insider.

“If Phillips and Ben White were at Arsenal they would improve them.

Ben White Leeds United 2019-20
Ben White Leeds United 2019-20

“They would walk into the Arsenal team. Phillips is a better midfielder than Granit Xhaka, and White is a better centre-back than any of the ones they’ve got – David Luiz, Sokratis, Rob Holding, Callum Chambers.

“He’s just as good on the ball as David Luiz and far better defensively.

“I’m surprised Lucas Torreira hasn’t played more for Arsenal. Maybe he isn’t disciplined enough.”

As things stand, it remains to be seen who will be making transfer calls at the Emirates in January.

Ongoing struggles for consistency in north London have Arsenal back in the market for a new manager.

Unai Emery was relieved of his duties after failing to bring the best out of Xhaka, Luiz and Co.

Speculation continues to rage as to who will be handed the reins, with the likes of Mikel Arteta, Patrick Vieira and Niko Kovac said to be in contention.

Leeds have no such worries at present, with the enigmatic presence of Bielsa on their touchline having lifted them into second spot in the Championship table – two points adrift of leaders West Brom and eight clear of third-placed Fulham.

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