England boss Gareth Southgate considering calling up Leeds star Kalvin Phillips for March friendlies after watching midfielder in Sheffield Wednesday defeat
- Leeds star Kelvin Phillips could be in line for a shock call-up to England squad
- Gareth Southgate watched the midfielder play in Sheffield Wednesday clash
- The England boss is making plans for his squad ahead of friendlies in March
Gareth Southgate could be eyeing Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips for his England setup for the March friendlies.
The Three Lions boss was in attendance for Leeds’ game against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
There have been calls for Phillips to get a chance for England in defensive midfield ahead of Euro 2020.
Gareth Southgate watched Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips play on Saturday afternoon
Sportsmail understands he attended the game at Elland Road to check on the 24-year-old.
Phillips will hope to earn a chance ahead of the exhibition games in March.
Former Premier League player Danny Higginbotham backed Phillips to shine on the international stage a few months back.
He said: ‘Gareth Southgate has switched between Declan Rice and Harry Winks in this holding position — but for me it is still up for grabs ahead of next summer.
The England boss is considering calling up Phillips to his squad for the friendlies in March
‘Looking outside the current squad, there are not exactly many English defensive midfielders excelling in the Premier League. But in Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips I see someone who could force his way into Southgate’s reckoning.
‘He has been outstanding for Marcelo Bielsa’s side and has a number of really good attributes. I like his positional sense, he’s a very good tackler, and his distribution both long and short is fantastic.
‘Yes, Phillips has never played in the Premier League. But I don’t have an issue with that at all — there were plenty of clubs in for him over the summer and he would undoubtedly be playing in the top tier now if Leeds hadn’t done everything to keep hold of him.
‘And in calling up Mason Mount last October when he was on loan at Derby from Chelsea, Southgate has shown he is not afraid to select a Championship player. The Three Lions don’t play again until March — if Phillips continues in this current vein of form then I see no reason why he shouldn’t be involved.
‘I’m not saying he should be brought in as first choice. But in a position which is yet to be locked down, Phillips is well worth having a look at.’
Former player Danny Higginbotham believes Phillips is capable of playing for England