Gareth Southgate was impressed by Kalvin Phillips on Thursday night as the Leeds United midfielder starred in England’s 5-0 win over San Marino.
It was pretty much a walk in the park for the Three Lions, who could have easily won by more if they moved out of first gear against the UEFA minnows.
Phillips, 25, earned his fourth cap against San Marino, playing all 90 minutes and completing 114 passes, which was the second-highest total on the pitch [WhoScored].
When discussing his midfield players after the win, Southgate hailed Phillips for his display.
“Kalvin Phillips, I was really pleased for him. He’s used the ball well but his athleticism around the pitch was good,” said Southgate to ITV after the match on Thursday night.
Easiest game of Phillips’ career?
Leeds have played some poor teams in the last couple of decades due to their lowly standing in English football but it’s fair to say no club in England’s Football League is worse than San Marino.
It’s almost embarrassing to see players as good as England’s face off against a nation with a similar population to places like Morecambe or Lichfield.
Phillips found it way too easy on Thursday night but so did everyone else in the England team.
According to stats by WhoScored, the Leeds ace completed 91 per cent of his passes and only Ben Chilwell completed more passes than him.
Phillips also made two key passes and won five aerial duels, which was more than any other player on the pitch.
It was a solid performance by him but let’s face it, against a team that poor, it means very little.
Let’s hope he plays against Albania and Poland in the coming days. Poland, especially, will be a far bigger task for Phillips.
In other Leeds United news, the Whites have shown interest in this highly-rated defender at a Yorkshire rival.