Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips has revealed that a family member persuaded him to stay at Elland Road when he was on the brink of leaving in 2019.
The club had had their Premier League promotion hopes dashed in the 2018/19 season after losing to Frank Lampard’s Chelsea in the play-off semi-final.
Both Phillips and boss Marcelo Bielsa were linked with moves away. The former was the subject of a potential £25million switch to Aston Villa.
However, both personnel stayed on at the Yorkshire outfit with committing his future by Phillips penning a five-year-deal.
The midfielder went on to play an influential role in Whites’ promotion to the top-flight the following season.
Speaking to the Times, the 25-year-old revealed that people very close to home convinced him to continue his career at Leeds.
“I was swaying towards Villa but my mum and my gran said, ‘You’ve got a job at Leeds to do, if you get promoted with Leeds you’ve been here all your life, so why not one more shot to try and do it?’,” he said.
“As soon as my mum said that I never looked back and look where it got me – to the Premier League, to play for England.”
Phillips has now featured four times for his country. He was handed his debut in England’s goalless draw with Denmark last September in the Nations League.
Phillips’ special relationship with his mother
The academy graduate went on to explain the closeness he shares with his mum.
He continued: “There’s some things you can’t explain but I know that if I didn’t have that relationship with my mum, I wouldn’t be where I am now.
“She’s been to so many lows to get me to these highs, so the one person I’ll share it with is her.
“The relationship is just love. We’re basically best friends. Every time I see her I want to give her a big cuddle and a kiss.
“It sounds a bit like a mummy’s boy, but I am a mummy’s boy. I just love my mum.”
His grandmother, Val Crosby – or ‘Granny Val’ – received a flood of affection following Amazon’s ‘Take Us Home’ documentary about the club.
She sadly passed in February and Phillips paid tribute to her, describing her as a “queen.”
He said: “My grandma was the pinnacle of the family, the queen.
“She was a very special woman and the person who made my mum who she is today.”
Phillips missed two games to mourn his loss but has now returned to first team action.