England manager Gareth Southgate has suggested that Leeds United duo Ben White and Kalvin Phillips could come into contention for next summer’s tournament.
Euro 2020 was set to take place this summer but due to the current global circumstances, it has been postponed until next year.
That could play into England’s hands as it means they don’t head into the tournament with question marks over the fitness of the likes of Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane, and that some new faces can emerge.
Speaking in an interview with the Independent, Southgate suggested that players could come into contention by impressing over the next 12 months and hinted that White and Phillips may be two to watch.
He said: “When we’re analysing our players – and we’ve done quite a lot of in depth analysis over the past months, position by position – we talk about potential a lot. With the Greenwoods and the Fodens I think that’s fine.
“The danger is when you’re still talking about potential at 24 and 25. It depends on what their season starts to look like. If they have a season in terms of opportunity, like Mason Mount did this year – playing in the Champions League, playing in a top four side, playing under pressure – then that can be a great development year for them.
“I’m very conscious there will be a group of around 30 to 35 who have been in and around our squad the past 12-18 months, who will be in the frame, but there will be some guys who come late.
“We’ve talked about those two but it could be a Ben White, who has been on loan at Leeds, or a Kalvin Phillips, that haven’t played Premier League football yet. Those sorts of players could come into the frame. We’re always open to what it looks like.”
The duo, who have both caught the attention of top English clubs in the last 12 months, have been outstanding for Leeds this term and are a huge part of why Marcelo Bielsa’s side are top of the Championship.
Phillips has been excellent in defensive midfield, an area in which England’s options are not as strong as elsewhere.
White was something of an unknown quantity when he joined on loan from Brighton at the start of the season but he has been a key man for Leeds, establishing himself as one of the top defenders in the Championship and a truly exciting prospect.
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Southgate’s latest comments have drawn an excited response from fans of the Yorkshire club, many of whom took to Twitter to voice their thoughts.
Read their reaction here:
Barring any injuries… I can’t imagine White and Phillips not being in the squad for that tournament.
— James/Jim Mason (@HeyJMason) June 14, 2020
Go on! Both top players and hopefully we will sign Ben. Just give brighton what they ask for he will be worth every single penny.
— Unscrupulous (@Unscrupleeds) June 14, 2020
Come on Gareth get it done
— Blake (@blakerobson3) June 14, 2020
Every time I’ve seen England play in the last 18 months, I’ve thought to myself that Kalvin would improve the midfield. In my opinion he’s the best option England have in the role and he should be given a chance to prove it. https://t.co/XaiSBoJlOj
— Ben (@Ben_Paul) June 14, 2020
Ben White is England’s best CB.
Kalvin Phillips is England’s best CDM.
Good to see Southgate has finally started to work out his best team. https://t.co/RRUcL8htpl
— Josh Akers (@joshakers93) June 14, 2020
Love to see it https://t.co/Vnd4Fix9jn
— Jordan D Horsfall (@jordanhorsey98) June 14, 2020
Phillips should have been in yonks ago, you’re welcome. https://t.co/3vksydIjLa
— Gabriel (@bethgabriel_) June 14, 2020
Southgate is completely besotted by Bielsa Ball btw https://t.co/Cl7pJNbGHa
— Ash (@ashlaurenn_) June 14, 2020