Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips appears more than ready to cut his teeth in the English Premier League following impressive campaigns in the Championship in recent seasons, and it was no surprise to see some of the top-flight clubs go after his signature during the summer transfer window.
The 23-year-old has since signed a new deal with the Elland Road outfit and is playing a crucial role as Marcelo Bielsa’s side look to secure automatic promotion after last season’s play-offs heartbreak.
Phillips is having another great individual season, and Sky Sports pundit Danny Higginbotham reckons he could soon be giving Tottenham Hotspurs’ Harry Winks and West Ham United’s Declan Rice a run for their money in the Three Lions’ holding midfield position if he keeps improving.
“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. Looking outside the current squad, there are not exactly many English defensive midfielders excelling in the Premier League,” Higginbotham told The Sun.
“But in Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips I see someone who could force his way into Southgate’s reckoning. I like his positional sense, he’s a very good tackler, and his distribution both long and short is fantastic.
“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.”
While Phillips is yet to play in the Premier League, there is no doubt that he has the quality to prove his worth once he finally moves to the top-flight.
The Leeds star will have to keep producing a lot of top-notch performances on a consistent basis to attract and convince England boss Gareth Southgate, though, and it will be interesting to see if he can do that ahead of Euros 2020.
If he doesn’t, Phillips remains a prospective Three Lions star, and he will almost certainly be playing in the Premier League next season regardless of Leeds’ status.
The Leeds academy graduate will be itching to prove himself at the highest level, and it will be interesting to see how he fares and how fasts he gets a national team call-up once he is in the top-flight.