In words carried by The Independent, Gareth Southgate has let it drop that Leeds United duo Kalvin Phillips and Ben White are being monitored by the England set-up.
Commenting on what the England set-up could look like for the EURO 2021 championships, Southgate said the Independent that there were opportunities for players currently outside of the fold at the moment. Focusing on what he had to say, the England boss stressed:
“I’m very conscious there will be a group of around 30 to 35 who have been in and around the squad in the past 12-18 months, who will be in the frame, but there will be some guys who come late.“
He then went on to give specific examples and also name-dropped the two Leeds United players along the way. Southgate clarified by saying:
“We’ve talked about those two (Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden), but it could be a Ben White, who has been on loan at Leeds, or a Kalvin Phillips that haven’t played Premier League football yet. Those sorts of players could come into the frame. We’re always open to what it looks like.”
White and Phillips under Bielsa’s hand
Under Bielsa’s legendary hand, Kalvin Phillips has been transformed from a box-to-box midfielder who some fans ridiculed into a defensive midfield lock in the mould of Claude Makelele. This has come across two seasons and has seen him rise in prominence that he is being touted as Premier League ready.
For White, it’s been a one-season affair under Bielsa. The luminary Argentinian coach has taken the Brighton and Hove Albion youngster and turned him from a hardly-known defender to a definitely-known star. His stock has risen because of this and top Premier League sides are said to be taking a look at him.
Southgate’s comments definitely have raised the level of chatter on Twitter and Leeds United fans have joined in the call-out of Ben White and Kalvin Philips by England boss Gareth Southgate.
Whites and Phillips for England – some reactions from Twitter
Ben White is pure class and should be starting for England not just in the squad and Phillips is way better than Rice ! These are just facts , i dont care what div they are playing in !
— Steve Bryant (@vivanagsvegas) June 14, 2020
Here is another response on the same thread developing from the Footy Accumulators tweet of Southgate’s words:
I’d like to see a midfield 3 of Phillips, Henderson and Grealish for England but I’m not sure Southgate is a massive fan of Grealish. Other than his play acting, I think he’s a quality player – him and James Maddison offer something different to the likes of Rice and Lingard.
— Shaun (@ShaunPK92) June 14, 2020
They both have that creativity and quality for central midfield which rice and lingard lack, and especially grealish he’s perfect player to earn more free kicks to exploit using our tall defenders that we have. And Phillips in that holding dm role offers way more than rice & dier
— RyanJohnson (@ryanlpjohnson) June 14, 2020
He’s said white & Phillips as long as they are playing regular Premier league football next season. Why can’t England pick players from championship? All qualifying games that England play are against championship level (or lower anyway) pick players on form not on play for?
— Andy Peters (@AndyPeters316) June 14, 2020
Leeds Live reporter Beren Cross also tweeted Southgate’s thoughts and he too garnered some response:
Both will be Leeds players next summer and in the England squad 🤩 @andrearadri 🙌🏽
— Sean (@ROI_LUFC) June 14, 2020
If we actually do get promoted this season KP will 100% be in that Euro squad next year. Depends on who White is playing for, but he’s already better than Stones and Mings so should also be in there..
— Ashley Johnson (@AshJohnson20) June 14, 2020
Barring any injuries… I can’t imagine White and Phillips not being in the squad for that tournament.
— James/Jim Mason (@HeyJMason) June 14, 2020
Here are some other views from fans who think that Ben White and Kalvin Phillips are England ready:
It makes sense tho. Phillips and arguably White are exceptions obviously but Bellingham and Eze aren’t better than any wingers currently in the England setup
— 🌹 (@ftblmichaeI) June 14, 2020
Really hope to see Kavlin Phillips + Ben White in the England line up before long. Best English players I’ve seen in a Leeds shirt since Delph
— Max (@MSeeley_) June 14, 2020
Ben White is England’s best CB.
Kalvin Phillips is England’s best CDM.
Good to see Southgate has finally started to work out his best team. https://t.co/RRUcL8htpl
— Josh Akers (@joshakers93) June 14, 2020
Easily England class.
Hard to say.
Might make it.
No, definitely not.
Not cut out for it.