Phillips rumoured to be in line for surprise England call-up


Kalvin Phillips is set to be handed an England call-up by Gareth Southgate for March’s friendly matches, according to reports.

The Leeds midfielder has been a revelation since Marcelo Bielsa took the reins in the summer of 2018.

His performances have earned acclaim from many onlookers and he’s helped Leeds climb to second in the current Championship table.

During the summer, his future was up for discussion with clubs in the Premier League reportedly looking to make him part of their squad.

Aston Villa were his keenest suitors and reportedly lined up offers of around £25million, but nothing ever materialised and instead, Phillips remained put.

He penned a new five-year contract in September and has played 33 times for Leeds across all competitions in the holding midfield role, scoring once.

Now, reports are indicating that Southgate could turn to the 24-year-old for the Three Lions’ friendly matches against Italy and Denmark, after being very impressed with his displays.

Holding midfield has been a problem for England recently with no-one nailing down the position.

Jordan Henderson is the only certainty to play in the role in Euro 2020 with other places up for grabs.

Declan Rice has won seven caps since making his England debut in March 2019 but some of his recent performances have attracted criticism.

Phillips could make his debut against the Azzurri at Wembley on March 27 and Bielsa says it would be a source of pride for the club if he were to win a maiden call-up.

“Everyone at the club and associated with him would be very proud. It’s not easy to achieve,” he said.

“But I didn’t like other managers suggesting which players I should pick when in charge of Chile & Argentina so I won’t either.”