Phillips initially broke into the Leeds first team back in 2015 and the talented midfielder has since gone on to become a key member of the Whites’ squad, helping them to promotion to the Premier League this summer and ending the club’s 16-year wait for top-flight football.
A consistent starter under Marcelo Bielsa, Phillips has made 185 appearances in a Whites shirt during his career and his performances at domestic level have seen him gain international recognition, featuring for England twice. He came in for widespread praise following his display in Thursday’s 3-0 win over Wales.
Phillips, who has played alongside Harry Winks in a two-man holding midfield unit thus far for England, normally plays on his own in that role for Leeds.
What did Prutton say about Phillips?
Prutton, who was writing in his column for Yorkshire Evening Post, has now offered his opinion on whether or not the Leeds man could regularly play a lone holding role in England’s midfield. The ex-Whites midfielder wrote:
‘It’s funny that people are looking at a game like that and saying he was good but we could have had more out of him. There were no goals conceded and three scored at the other end which is a pretty good game for England.
‘The only way that you will find out if Phillips is good enough to play the holding midfield role for England on his own is by committing to it and taking the plunge.
‘But as good as Kalvin is, I think it’s a huge step to say that as he has done it over the course of several seasons in the Championship and for less than double figures games in the Premier League we should say well England should obviously build a team around him. I think it’s a bit early for that.’
How has Kalvin Phillips performed so far this season?
Phillips has thus far started all four of Leeds’ Premier League games and the defensive midfielder has offered one assist so far this term.
Gaining an impressive average WhoScored rating of 7.15 out of 10 in those games, the midfielder’s standout performance came against Fulham in a 4-3 win, when the website rated his performance as 7.71/10.
After gaining England recognition of late, the future seems bright for the 24-year-old, but Prutton is right to plead caution about Phillips making the Three Lions’ holding midfield role his own, as he is still inexperienced at international level.
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