Jack Pitt-Brooke: Jordan Henderson could remain on England bench due to Phillips
Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips put in a masterclass against Croatia on Sunday – and it could be bad news for Jordan Henderson.
The Liverpool skipper is lacking match fitness and rhythm having only returned to action since February, and could struggle to break into England’s starting line-up at Euro 2020.
Phillips further solidified his spot in the team with an incredible box-to-box performance in the Three Lions opener, and The Athletic’s Jack Pitt-Brooke does not see a way back for the Liverpool star in Southgate’s XI at the moment.
“Before the game, lots of people would have wanted Jude Bellingham in the team instead,” the journalist said on The Athletic website.
“There was some expectation they might bring back Jordan Henderson. And some people felt as if Phillips was just holding that position until Henderson came back.
“I’m a huge admirer of Henderson but if he hasn’t played a competitive game for four months, then he couldn’t do what Phillips did on Sunday. And if Phillips keeps playing like that, Henderson is not going to get back in the team.”
Henderson’s chances of playing at the Euros are very limited as it seems, and Phillips’ electric form is responsible for that.
The Leeds star is undroppable right now, and our head coach Marcelo Bielsa should be credited with the huge development we are now witnessing.
The 25-year-old would not have had a chance of becoming an England hero were the Euros held last summer, and is one of those who have benefitted hugely from its postponement.
Leeds also stand to gain a lot as Phillips knows he cannot afford to perform below this level and standard in next season’s Premier League.
Henderson has a huge battle on his hands if he wants to play at Euro 2020 and next summer’s World Cup, and we are delighted to see our own ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’ finally getting all the plaudits that he deserves.
Could he lead England to glory at the tournament?
Going by Sunday’s performance, nothing can be ruled out, and the Elland Road favourite will be keen to prove that was not just a flash in the pan.
In other Leeds news, Chris Sutton has compared Euro 2020 star to Whites ace after moment of magic.