Former Leeds United, Liverpool and England striker Robbie Fowler claims that the Whites must strengthen multiple areas of the squad if they are to make up for letting Kalvin Phillips join Manchester City on the cheap. Fans have been left to mull a summer of drastic change at Elland Road, with two key men from last season’s relegation escape either gone or on their way out.
A season blighted by injuries and wayward performances saw Marcelo Bielsa replaced by Jesse Marsch in the Leeds dugout. The American coach did just enough to secure Premier League survival thanks to a final-day win over Brentford, but another daunting task could be on the horizon.
The Whites are set to embark on the 2022/23 season without star midfielder Phillips, who joined Manchester City in a bargain £42million deal, and Brazilian trickster Raphinha, who is closing in on a move to Barcelona.
The transformation is well underway with a host of new stars already brought in, and Fowler maintains that his former club must use the cash injection to plug any remaining gaps in the squad if they are to emerge from the situation smelling of roses.
JUST IN: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp discusses Man Utd and Arsenal’s Premier League title chances
“From a Leeds point of view, yes [letting go of both players is a mistake],” Fowler told Express Sport, in association with the Better Collective Bookmaker Awards. “You want to keep hold of your good players.
“Man City have signed a great player [in Phillips] who’s proven in the Premier League, and I think that’s why they wanted to bring him in. The price they paid for him is relatively cheap for an England international, we’ve seen in the past how expensive some of those players are.
DON’T MISS: Tottenham risk Antonio Conte fury as ‘real defensive target’ named before signing Lenglet
On top of that, Colombian winger Luis Sinisterra has already been signed from Feyenoord with Raphinha’s switch to Barca now looking like a formality. Factoring in more arrivals in Marc Roca and former Manchester City youth star Darko Gyabi, Leeds’ total spend is creeping towards £100m and there could be even more in the pipeline.
Fowler’s hope that Marsch and co can use the Phillips money to bulk out the squad would be unfinished if the club don’t sign a striker to compete with Patrick Bamford, who spent the majority of last season out injured. A bid for Belgian youngster Charles De Ketelaere has been reported, but they face a tough battle to pip AC Milan to the player’s signature.