The England international has been sidelined due to a shoulder injury since last month and missed Leeds’ league games against Aston Villa, Leicester City and Crystal Palace.


While the Whites earned a 3-0 victory over the Villans in their first game without Phillips, they succumbed to 4-1 defeats to Leicester and Crystal Palace in the following matches.



Reflecting on the absence of the midfielder, who is edging closer to returning to action, former Leeds star Matteo feels Marcelo Bielsa is struggling to find the balance of the team without him.


However, although Matteo is aware of the importance of Phillips to the Leeds side, he insisted that the team should not risk playing the 24-year-old against Arsenal this weekend if he is not fully fit.



You’re talking about a £40-or £50-million rated player in terms of how crucial he is to his team and its set-up“, Matteo wrote in his Yorkshire Evening Post column.


Without him in there it does feel like Bielsa doesn’t quite have the balance of the team right and I think that has been evident in the way they have shipped goals.



There has been some talk of Kalvin potentially taking an injection to play against Arsenal this weekend.


If he’s close but not quite there then in my eyes you just can’t risk him for fear of a longer layoff – and I say that as a player who used to have all sorts done just to get me out on the field.


Pascal Struijk was deployed in Phillips’ role in the matches against Aston Villa and Crystal Palace.