'Brilliant' Leeds star Phillips hailed by pundit amid 'huge' Southgate verdict
Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips is “one of the first names on the teamsheet” for England, according to Noel Whelan.
The former Whites striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, hailed the 25-year-old for his “brilliant” performances during the international break.
Phillips played 110 minutes across the two World Cup qualifiers – with England securing their qualification for the 2022 showpiece with a 5-0 home win against Albania and a 10-0 away win last night against San Marino.
The Whites midfielder has already notched 19 caps for the Three Lions just 14 months on from making his debut for the senior side.
He was an integral part of the England side which reached the final of Euro 2020 during the summer.
Phillips has recently returned from a calf injury that left him sidelined for Premier League clashes against Southampton and Wolves.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Whelan insisted the Leeds-born star’s presence in midfield will “reassure” England fans.
“He showed his importance yet again in that England side, he’s huge for Gareth Southgate,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.
“Every time he plays in the shirt, we see a better and better performance from him. It was a more controlled performance, even in the absence of Declan Rice.
“I think it’s very reassuring to have him in the side for England fans.
“He did brilliantly over the two games. He’s one of the first names on the teamsheet now, and I think Gareth values his presence out there on the field.”
Midfield stalwart Phillips has made eight league appearances for Leeds United.
The Whites sit just three points outside the top-flight drop zone after 11 games.