By Nick Ware

11th Oct, 2021 | 6:30pm

Adrian Durham: Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips set for England XI axe

Adrian Durham suggests that Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips could be set to lose his England starting spot for next year’s World Cup.

The 25-year-old made himself a mainstay of Gareth Southgate’s side that reached the final of the European Championship during the summer, starting every game for the Three Lions.

However, he was forced to withdraw from the squad last week for their World Cup qualifiers, due to an injury he suffered for the Whites against Watford.

Speaking on talkSPORT [16:13, 11/10/21], Durham suggests Phillips is set to lose his spot to Borussia Dortmund teenager Jude Bellingham.

“I think Phillips is the fall guy,” he said.

“He’s done nothing wrong, but Bellingham is a better player. He’s proven it in the Champions League as well as a top league in Europe.

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“The time for him to move on was this summer, as much as I’m a Leeds sympathiser. He had an incredible tournament. He’s done all he can at Leeds United.

“They’re not going to get better.

“Now there’s a big fuss ‘oh he can’t go to Manchester United’ and how it’s holding him back.

“He’s not 19 or 21 either, he’s not one of those youngsters.”

Premature

Phillips has only been out of action for one game and pundits are already speculating that he is set to lose his England starting spot.

Remember, that’s the current holder of England’s Player of the Year that they are talking about.

Philips shone for the Three Lions during the summer as his industrious displays alongside Declan Rice in midfield ensured they remained unbeaten during the whole European Championship, only losing to Italy on penalties in the final.

He kept his place in the side for September’s World Cup qualifiers, and it’s only an injury that has kept him out of action this month.

Bellingham is a superb young player, and he may well force his way into the England starting XI by the time winter of 2022 rolls around.

However, it’s more likely to be alongside Phillips, as well as Rice, rather than to replace the Leeds star.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites are set to splash out on transfer fees in ‘the coming months’ after this major development.