Leeds United Opinion: Why Ryan Woods would be a solid addition to Leeds?
According to a report from Hull Live, Leeds United could make a move for Stoke City midfielder Ryan Woods should they lose Kalvin Phillips to Aston Villa this summer.
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith wants to add Kalvin Phillips to his midfield ranks, following promotion to the Premier League, but both the clubs are a distance apart in terms of agreeing to a fee as things stand.
Phillips, 23, is highly rated by the Whites and has been an important cog of Marcelo Bielsa’s system. The defensive midfielder was one of the first names on the team sheet last season, impressing with his passing range, tacking skills and work rate.
Thus, the 23-year-old would, of course, be a massive loss to the Leeds squad if he was to move on.
Leeds are preparing for a second season under Bielsa and the summer transfer window is key to ensuring the Yorkshire side go one better in the upcoming campaign to achieve promotion.
It has been a fairly quiet window so far but its high time Bielsa needs to pressurise the board to achieve his transfer targets.
Presently, the focus is on Phillips, who could be prised away by Villa this summer. There’s no doubt that Phillips is good enough to play in the Premier League next season and Leeds are going to have to stand firm to keep him at Elland Road.
Should the 23-year-old depart, Ryan Woods could be the right player to replace him.
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Woods has been a consistent performer for Stoke City since moving to the club from Brentford last summer. A diminutive, deep-lying playmaker, the 25-year-old excels in breaking up play and spraying the ball all over the park to the wingers and attackers in his team.
He is a very good passer of the ball and his willingness to sit deep and do the dirty work make him capable enough to fill Phillips’ big boots.
Bielsa’s priority absolutely has to be to keep Kalvin Phillips at all costs. If he departs, Woods has all the qualities to replace him and succeed at the Elland Road and if Bielsa can manage to get the best out of him, the Whites could have a massive player in their hands.