By George Overhill

30th Nov, 2022 | 11:40am

Luke Ayling sends delighted message to former Leeds United teammate Kalvin Phillips after major milestone

Luke Ayling was among a host of Leeds United figures to congratulate former favourite Kalvin Phillips after his World Cup debut for England.

The now-Manchester City midfielder came on as a substitute as Gareth Southgate’s side reached the knockout stages in Qatar, with a 3-0 win over Wales on Tuesday (29 November).

The former Whites favourite posted on his Instagram account after the game with the message: “It’s been a dream of mine to play for England at a World Cup since as long as I can remember! Unreal night. Minutes in the tank and through to the knockouts”.

Ex-teammate Ayling wrote “Love to see it”, while current and former United players Crysencio Summerville, Pascal Struijk, Sam Greenwood, Stuart McKinstry, Nohan Kenneh and Sean McGurk all left comments in support.

Phillips moved to the Etihad for £42million in the summer but has struggled for action amid injury problems.

Ayling appears to be headed for his own departure from Elland Road, with his contract up in the summer, and Graeme Bailey told TEAMtalk on 16 November that there is “interest” in him from elsewhere.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now


Phillips was a central character at Leeds United so it is no surprise that numerous Whites figures have queued up to offer their thoughts on his milestone appearance.

The 26-year-old is fortunate to have been included in the World Cup squad given he has only played four times for City, with just a single minute of action in the Premier League.

The emergence of Jude Bellingham has seen him lose his starting place alongside Declan Rice, but clearly Gareth Southgate values him still.

There will be plenty of United fans who still wish the best to him so will be pleased to see the midfielder made it to Qatar and managed to feature.

Another man prominently involved at the international tournament is Tyler Adams, whose USA side also made it through to the knockouts at the same time, beating Iran 1-0.

The American captain’s summer signing from RB Leipzig has helped soften the blow of losing Phillips in the previous transfer window, while another signing around the same time, Denmark’s Rasmus Kristensen, is the one who appears to have spelled the end for Ayling in a Whites shirt.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has mooted Jesse Marsch to implement a formation change after what he has seen in Qatar.