Kalvin Phillips handed England call-up for Iceland and Denmark games

25 Aug 2020 01:17 pm, by YorkshireSquare

Leeds United have had a fantastic couple of seasons and Kalvin Philips has played a massive part in that, the driving force in Marcel Bielsa’s side. Leeds tested themselves against top class opposition earlier this year against Arsenal in the FA Cup. The Gunners had a midfield worth hundreds of million of pounds on display but Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips shone above them all. World Cup winner Mesut Ozil’s name may have been on the team sheet but he was nowhere to be seen, comprehensively dealt with by Phillips. With Southgate watching Phillips regularly last season, including at that Arsenal game, there were strong rumours he would receive a call up for Euro 2020.

The England squad largely picks itself these days but there are still question marks over the defence and holding midfield role. Gareth Southgate has alternated between Declan Rice and Harry Winks but neither has impressed enough to make the position their own. With Phillips positional sense, tackling and distribution both short and long surely it was only a matter of time before Southgate called him up for England? Had Phillips been playing at a higher level his England call-up may have come earlier, the ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’ has been a revelation since Marcelo Bielsa arrived at Leeds and reinvented him into one of the best defensive midfielders in the country.

With the Coronavirus pandemic came the break in football, the cancelling of England’s two friendlies in March against Italy and Denmark and postponement of the Euro 2020 tournament and a delay to Phillips pulling on those three lions of England. But now Gareth Southgate has named Phillips in his 24-man squad for England’s upcoming UEFA Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark on the 5th September and 8th September. So, congratulations to Kalvin on his much deserved call-up! The only thing hampering his chances of playing now could be his knee injury picked up against Swansea but he has been seen training with the squad and is expected to be fit for the start of the season.

The Three Lions are in group A2 of the 2020-21 competition, with completing the quartet of sides playing each-other home and away over a three-month period. The group winner will join the other table-toppers from league A in the Nations League finals, which will be held at some point in 2021. The full England squad to face Iceland and Denmark consists of:

Tammy Abraham (Chelsea), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Mason Greenwood (Manchester United), Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Danny Ings (Southampton), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Michael Keane (Everton), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Declan Rice (West Ham United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur)