St. Patrick's Athletic striker Eoin Doyle joined Football Saturday to talk about Manchester United and Kalvin Phillips.
Leeds are conceding a lot of goals.
Marcelo Bielsa's side are suddenly under threat of relegation and it's because of their inability to stop opposition teams creating chances. The control that Leeds previously played with is gone, in large part because of the absence of Kalvin Phillips.
The defensive midfielder was the fulcrum in Leeds' midfield before he was injured. Without he and Patrick Bamford, it's no surprise that Leeds are struggling.
Eoin Doyle recognizes the quality that Phillips brings and during a conversation about Cristiano Ronaldo, Doyle suggested the young midfielder as a solution to Manchester United's problems.
"Every team is trying to go down that road with pressing," Doyle said.
"It isn't ideal for a 37-year-old, no. I look at Ronaldo and...he does now himself consider himself a box player I think. Judge him on that. I think the problems are bigger elsewhere on the pitch for Manchester United. The midfield, they need to sort that midfield and get it a bit more solid."
Manchester United's midfield is a constant problem. Finding the right combination at the base has been an issue since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's early days. Paul Pogba, when healthy, has moved all over the midfield. He can play higher up or he can be part of the two holding midfielders. When he plays deeper, he can link up play to give Manchester United options.
But Pogba's consistency and work ethic is always under scrutiny.
That has led to Fred and Scott McTominay often playing together. Nemanja Matic is also still a factor despite his lackluster performances that span across years now. Manchester United need to reinvigorate that area of the field and two young, English midfielders make sense, according to Doyle.
"Yeah [Declan Rice] and even [Kalvin] Phillips at Leeds. I like him. He's solid and covers the ground well in there. Both of them would do I think. I don't mind McTominay, I think Fred...I wouldn't be a big fan of Fred now. They definitely need to strengthen in there.
"Maybe the fullbacks as well."
Declan Rice is a prominent name across English football. He has been central to West Ham's success under David Moyes. But Phillips is also an England international who has proven himself in the Premier League. His absence for Leeds has coincided with Marcelo Bielsa's side conceding goals non-stop.
Phillips ability to marshal the middle of the field and retain possession is hugely valuable. He would contribute for United defensively and as a protagonist for playing more attacking football, so he makes perfect sense as an addition to their midfield. Adding just one of the two won't be enough though, unless Paul Pogba stays healthy and plays to his potential consistently.
Manchester United need a lot of new faces. As Doyle notes, they still have to figure out who should start at right back and what role Ronaldo should fill.
They're not built to be a pressing team right now, adding one or two players won't change that. At the very least, Manchester United should be very active in the summer once they hire their new manager. That will change the face of the team and turn them in the right direction, if executed properly.
At 26 years of age, Phillips isn't young but he's young enough that he could provide stability during his prime years for a top club over the next 3-4 years.
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