Manchester United have been told the three stand-out qualities that England midfielder Kalvin Phillips would add to their struggling line-up.
As the dust continues to settle on that humiliating 5-0 loss to bitter rivals Liverpool – a result which might yet have drastic repercussions for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – key figures in the United boardroom appear to be standing by their man for now.
Issuing a triple statement of intent during the summer window, Solskjaer was backed with three marquee signings.
Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane were sworn in from Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid respectively – while five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo also returned to send pulses racing at Old Trafford.
A run of below-par results and performances has let to serious question marks over Solskjaer’s future.
On-field, the failure to follow up those signings with a top-level midfield sitter has come under the microscope and is, in turn, thought to be a top priority for next summer.
Manchester Evening News understands Declan Rice is still first choice in that regard – despite potential red flags on his would-be transfer fee – but Leeds United player Phillips has also been touted as an alternative, yet controversial, option to bolster the engine room.
He returned from calf and hip injuries against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup.
Powerless to stop the Whites from losing 2-0 in that game at the Emirates Stadium, Phillips was, on the other hand, picked out for special praise in the Sky Sports commentary box.
Who do YOU want United to sign next summer? Have your say in the comments section below.
In doing so, former Premier League midfielder Lee Hendrie pointed United to three stand-out qualities.
He said: “One thing that has really impressed me about Leeds is defensively. When they give the ball away, they get back in. Having this man back in the side is vitally important. We touched on [Patrick] Bamford and how his goals, his contention, his consistency, but having him [Phillips] dictating in midfield, leading the line and setting an example all over the pitch. Big, big positive for Leeds.”