By Mark Smith

17th May, 2021 | 6:18pm

Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand & Glenn Hoddle thrilled by Leeds star Kalvin Phillips

Rio Ferdinand, Glenn Hoddle and Joe Cole have all been thrilled by Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips this season.

The Yorkshire Pirlo has made his international debut with England this year, as well as taking the Premier League by storm since promotion.

All three were selecting their squads for the upcoming major tournament, with Phillips touted for a role in the starting XI only by Hoddle.

Hoddle started the praise on BT Sport’s Between the Lines on Monday afternoon, as he singled out the midfielder from a big group.

“I love him, Phillips,” he said.

“What you’ve said about Rice becoming a better passer forward, this kid has already got it, so that balance would be interesting, I wouldn’t mind playing both of them in there.”

Cole was also a big fan but incidentally didn’t include the Yorkshire Pirlo in his own 26-man squad for the upcoming tournament.

“I like him. I like what he brings.

Ferdinand finished the debate by lauded his ability not to be swallowed up by the occasion no matter which milestone his career hits.

“I like Phillips, I watched him again closely against Manchester United, I thought he was all action, and he’s unfazed, coming to the Premier League and hit the ground running.

“Puts an England shirt on, no problem.”

League of his Own.

Phillips has proven that he is in a league of his own in recent months in the Premier League.

There has always been the debate between Phillips and Declan Rice, but Hoddle said it best, the things that the West Ham man needs to improve, the Yorkshire Pirlo already has.

Comparing the two via WhoScored, Phillips has completed more tackles, key passes and long balls than Rice, and is better in every department on the ball.

Gareth Southgate has selected the Leeds star in every single game since he first jumped into the squad, and that is a huge sign that he is a massive fan.

You simply can’t overlook the midfield maestro, as he proves himself week after week in the Premier League above his rivals.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Masterclass’ – Mark Lawrenson predicts winner in the Whites’ clash against Southampton tomorrow