Darren Bent thinks Leeds ace Kalvin Phillips has lost England place through injuries
Darren Bent believes Leeds star Kalvin Phillips may have lost his place as an automatic starter for England due to the injury problems he’s had this season.
Phillips was an ever-present starter for England during the Euro 2020 tournament last summer as they reached the final, but has suffered with injuries this season and missed the last three months.
He was left out of the most recent squad by Gareth Southgate as he continues to recover and Bent told talkSPORT [March 25, 18:13] that there are only three places in the team locked up ahead of the November tournament.
“I can only count two, who’s place I think Gareth won’t move,” he said. “Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling is the other one. Gareth won’t touch them.”
“I forgot about him, but Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips too. You know what, I think with Kalvin Phillips having the injuries that he’s had this season, his place is maybe a little bit [shakes hand to signal uneasy].
“Everyone fit, you say Kalvin Phillips and he’s been fantastic but you have to think aswell, Jude Bellingham is another year on in his development so it’s not like he’s a kid anymore. He’s playing every week for Dortmund.
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“The other three though, they’re locked in.”
It would be incredibly harsh for Phillips to have lost his place in the England team based off injuries rather than poor performances this season.
While Leeds have struggled and are facing relegation, Phillips individually hasn’t been bad and hasn’t justified losing his place in the side. Had it not been for injury, he’d be in the squad.
With that said, as mentioned, Bellingham is a year more developed and is shining in the Bundesliga and in Europe while Rice continues to shine for West Ham and England too.
With so many options, it’s very possible that he has lost his place on pure bad luck and will now have to work hard to get back into the side despite all the credit he built up with his performances.
If he ends up in the Championship it will be tough for him to get his place back while staying at Elland Road, so fingers crossed he doesn’t need to make that decision.
In other Leeds news, ‘Stepping stone’ – BBC Pundit backs Leeds star to make ‘exciting’ Premier League move