By Nick Ware

15th Jun, 2021 | 10:10am

Laura Woods and Jamie O'Hara discuss Kalvin Phillips and Leeds United rise

Jamie O’Hara has admitted he underappreciated Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips before his international tournament debut for England on Sunday afternoon.

Phillips picked up the man of the match award for his display against Croatia where he claimed an assist for Raheem Sterling’s goal in a 1-0 win.

Speaking on talkSPORT [15/06/21], ex-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder O’Hara confessed to Laura Woods that he was taken aback by the 25-year-old’s performance.

“I have to hold my hands up on Phillips,” he said.

“I knew he was a good player and a decent performer for Leeds in the Premier League this season, but the level he played at against Croatia was exceptional. He was head and shoulders above some of the rest, in a major tournament against a Ballon d’Or winner [Luka Modric].

“I was so impressed with him and his energy. I hold my hands up, I thought he wasn’t ready, but he’s proven everybody wrong.”

Woods replied: “I think you can be forgiven for that because his trajectory has been incredible. Leeds fans will be screaming from the rooftops saying they knew it all along.”

We knew all along

Woods is right – we’ve known Phillips is a sensational player for a long time.

Since Marcelo Bielsa arrived as Leeds manager in 2018 we have seen Phillips blossom into one of the country’s most talented midfielders.

It looks like it’s taken many people a long time to figure it out for themselves.

Apparently, you have to play well for England or one of the ‘big-six’ sides before you get your due recognition.

People have looked down at us and disregarded our comments about our own players as biased, but we’re just saying what we’re seeing. That’s been greatness in front of our very eyes.

Hopefully, now people will start listening, because there’s plenty more from where that came from.

Patrick Bamford is another Englishman starring at the Whites, and he can consider himself extremely unfortunate to have missed out on a spot in England’s Euro 2020 squad, with only Harry Kane scoring more goals from his country.

In other Leeds United news, Laura Woods has admitted her shock at this Whites star.