Pundit worries for Leeds’ Premier League safety with Raphinha, Phillips headed for exit

Date published: Monday 27th June 2022 9:56 - Jason Soutar

Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips celebrate a goal

Chris Sutton has hinted that Leeds United’s Premier League safety will be in jeopardy if they sell Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha this summer.

Phillips looks set to join Manchester City after Pep Guardiola’s side had a £45million accepted.

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Raphinha, on the other hand, has a number of clubs interested in him with Arsenal reportedly leading the race to sign him.

Both players have been incredibly crucial for Leeds since they returned to the top flight in 2020.

The Brazilian winger signed that summer and scored 11 goals in the league last season as he helped guide his side to safety.

If Phillips and Raphinha both leave, Jesse Marsch will need to recruit smartly if his side are to avoid the drop in 2022/23.

“What about Kalvin Phillips from Leeds to Manchester City, where does that leave Leeds?” Sutton asked on BBC Radio 5 Live Sport (quotes via Daily Mail).

“Their best two players look like they are away. Jesse Marsch came in and he kept them up. But that’s not a good look.”

Leeds have brought in Brenden Aaronson and Rasmus Kristensen from Red Bull Salzburg, meanwhile, Marc Roca has joined from Bayern Munich.

However, Sutton believes more additions are needed if they want to successfully replace their dynamic duo.

“They are going to have to do some recruiting themselves, Leeds,” Sutton added.

“That was a legitimate criticism (on Leeds not bulking up the squad). Bielsa liked to work with a small and thin squad. They got away with it last season.

“But if you are a Leeds fan, you are thinking ‘blimey, our two star men are off. How are we going to stay in the Premier League next season?'”

Leeds have been linked with PSV forward Cody Gakpo as a potential replacement for Raphinha.

In terms of incoming midfielders, the Whites have also been linked with RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams and Salzburg’s Mohamed Kamara.

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