This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Another international break has been and gone, but we’re still not out of the woods when it comes to discussions about national teams dominating the headlines.
For a change, Leeds United fans have something to ponder after England’s latest fixtures as a former Premier League player has tipped one Whites ace for a Three Lions call-up.
Danny Higginbotham tipped Kalvin Phillips for an England call-up in a column for The Sun.
“Looking outside the current squad, there are not exactly many English defensive midfielders excelling in the Premier League.” The 40-year-old wrote.
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“But in Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips I see someone who could force his way into Southgate’s reckoning.
“The 23-year-old has been outstanding for Marcelo Bielsa’s side and has a number of really good attributes.
“I like his positional sense, he’s a very good tackler, and his distribution both long and short is fantastic.
“Yes, Phillips has never played in the Premier League. But I don’t have an issue with that at all — there were plenty of clubs in for him over the summer and he would undoubtedly be playing in the top tier now if Leeds hadn’t done everything to keep hold of him.”
Phillips is certainly good enough to play for England one day, but it’s a little too soon for anyone to be thinking about that just yet.
Higginbotham says that he has no issue with it, but the fact of the matter is that the midfielder has never played in the Premier League, and while he may be considered the best player in the Championship it’s a huge step up.
While some players such as James Maddison and Dan James made the step up to the top-flight with relative ease others such as Tom Cairney struggled with that gulf in class.
Maddison took to English football like a duck to water, creating 100 chances last term while James has contributed to five goals for Man United this season. Cairney, on the other hand, was relegated at the first time of asking with Fulham.
There’s no guarantee that a Championship star will be just as good in the top-flight, and due to the fact that Phillips is unproven at the top level he shouldn’t be considered for England just yet.