Kalvin Phillips backs ex-Leeds star Ben White for Euro 2020 call-up after TAA withdrawal

Kalvin Phillips has backed his former Leeds United teammate Ben White to receive a call-up to the England squad for the European Championships.

White, who spent the 2019/20 promotion-winning campaign on loan at Leeds from parent club Brighton, was named in England’s 35-man provisional squad for the summer tournament before he was cut from the final 26-man list.

However, an injury to Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has created an opening in the squad, and Phillips believes White could step up.

“I’d be absolutely buzzing [if it happened],” he told talkSPORT [05/06/21]. “I’ve known Ben for a couple of years now and we’re really close.

“I keep saying to him there’s always that possibility that he might be involved.

“I’d be absolutely buzzing for him. I’d be over the moon if he did get the nod.”

Whites blueprint

If White did get the call-up then Leeds can claim a large share of the credit for his success.

Of course, the 23-year-old deserves enormous praise for the huge strides he has made in his career, particularly over the last couple of seasons, but it was his move to West Yorkshire that really put him on the map and on the way to national team recognition.

He was an ever-present member of our Championship-winning campaign and shone behind his close friend Phillips, who patrolled the midfield in front of him.

The two struck up a close bond and it looks to be one they have carried despite White’s Elland Road exit last summer, after Brighton refused to budge on their desire to keep him on the south coast.

There are still the occasional murmurings about a potential return for White this summer or in the future but for now, at least, it seems that ship has sailed and we will have to admire him from afar.

We’ll still be bursting with pride, like Phillips, if he is selected for the Three Lions this month.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites will make a major decision on the future of this ‘Outrageous’ Under-23s star this summer.