By Mark Smith

16th Jun, 2021 | 3:15pm

Paul Merson stunned by Kalvin Phillips display v Croatia

Paul Merson was left stunned by the performance of Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips for England against Croatia.

The Yorkshire Pirlo starred at Wembley in the 1-0 win, assisting Raheem Sterling’s goal and taking home the Man of the Match award.

Merson praised Gareth Southgate’s selections, although he admitted they could have landed him in major trouble.

Speaking to Sky Sports on Wednesday, Merson clearly didn’t expect Phillips to have the impact he managed to have at Wembley.

“Fair play to Gareth as he is getting pelters if that does not come off and that is what I like about him,” he said.

“In midfield, Kalvin Phillips’s performance shocked me if I’m being honest.”

Shocked, why?

This is what we have been telling everyone all along, Phillips is easily more than capable of out-performing the likes of Declan Rice and Jordan Henderson.

Just because he doesn’t play for one of the so-called big-six in the Premier League, there is some sort of agenda around the country.

International media have been sent into a frenzy by the Yorkshire Pirlo, they are the ones who can be shocked, not Merson, who watches him every single week throughout the season.

Phillips is all but guaranteed to start against Scotland now on Friday, and he will have a major role to play should we go far in this tournament.

There will be no shock surrounding his name should he keep shining, and his stock will undoubtedly rise 10-fold should he do just that.

Marcelo Bielsa has created a monster, and Southgate is now receiving the benefits of that on the biggest stage.

In other Leeds United news, Terms agreed: Angus Kinnear confirms major Marcelo Bielsa contract update at Elland Road