Noel Whelan has insisted there is a “real problem” if Kalvin Phillips is not on the radar of England manager Gareth Southgate this summer.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Whelan claimed the central midfielder, 23, has been “outstanding” this season after thriving in the new midfield anchorman role handed to him by Marcelo Bielsa.
Phillips has not represented England at any level but has was named in the Championship team of the year last week along with teammate Liam Cooper.
“If he’s not being looked at by Gareth Southgate, there’s a real problem,” Whelan said. “Phillips has been outstanding this season and he’s really matured and progressed as a player.
“I’ve been so impressed with him in the deep midfield role. He’s made it his own. It’s a real specialist position and he plays it so well, with his passing, awareness, defending and ability to drop back between the two centre-backs and allow the full-backs to play high up the pitch.
“He’s good enough to play for England, no doubt about that, and he shouldn’t be overlooked again.”
Phillips has made 133 appearances for Leeds since graduating from the club’s academy, with 122 of those coming in the Championship.
He emerged from the club’s ranks at around the same time as Bournemouth’s Lewis Cook, West Ham’s Sam Byram and Barnsley’s Alex Mowatt, all of whom were regarded in their late teens as more likely to make it at the top level.
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