Former Leeds United defender Danny Mills has suggested that it would be a bad idea for Gareth Southgate to call Whites midfielder Kalvin Phillips up to the England squad ahead of Euro 2020.
England’s victories against Montenegro and Kosovo sealed qualification to next summer’s tournament after an impressive campaign that saw them win Group A comfortably.
Southgate’s men have four more games left before Euro 2020, meaning the Three Lions boss will have some big decisions to make in the near future.
Does Phillips deserve a chance for England?
Writing for The Sun, Danny Higginbotham suggested that defensive midfield is a problem area for England and that Phillips could be the solution.
The Leeds academy product has carried that on in the 2019/20 campaign–playing every minute in the Championship so far for the Whites and helping them to climb to third in the league and concede the fewest goals in the division.
Despite his impressive form, Mills has rejected Higginbotham’s claim and suggested he feels it would be a mistake for Southgate to call up Phillips.
Speaking on talkSPORT, he said: “I’d love it. I think he’s a fabulous player but the step up to the Premier League is huge and the step up to international football is absolutely massive.
“I just think it is too much to take somebody from the Championship with no international experience, to suddenly drop them in and expect them to be fabulous week in week out.
“It’s not just ability it’s the mental pressure as well and everything else that comes with it.”
He added: “Now we’re looking at the Euros. You can tinker with it between now and then we have four friendlies.
“To throw a player in that has been nowhere near the England squad so far. Is he good enough to do it in the Premier League week in week out? I think that is a big, big call.
“He is an out and out holding midfield player, that does go in his favour but is he going to be better than Declan Rice?
“Without a shadow of a doubt (he’ll be on Southgate’s radar) but I think sometimes people underestimate the step up.”
The 23-year-old’s next chance to impress in a Leeds shirt looks likely to come against Luton Town on Saturday.
I can’t imagine Mills’ comments on this discussion will go down to well with Leeds fans.
This is a really interesting debate and it is hard to disagree with Mills, it may just be a bit too soon for Phillips.
The 23-year-old has been fantastic for Leeds, particularly since Marcelo Bielsa took over, but with just four games left before Euro 2020, you have to question whether it is the right time to give him a chance.
It seems almost certain that Phillips will be a Premier League player next season, with or without Leeds, so he may have to wait until then.