England call-up for Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips but Harry Maguire is withdrawn

Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips has vowed to use his cherished maiden England call-up as inspiration to propel his career onto even greater heights.

Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips: In Gareth Southgate's plans. Picture: PA

The 24-year-old is aiming to become the first United player to feature for the Three Lions since Alan Smith in March 2004 after being named in the squad for the Nations League games in Iceland on September 5 and Denmark three days later.

It has served as the perfect boost for Phillips ahead of his first-ever Premier League foray with his hometown club and provides further kudos for Leeds, who start their top-flight season with a trip to champions Liverpool.

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Manchester United captain Harry Maguire was also named in the original 24-man squad, but was withdrawn last night.

This came after the former Sheffield United and Hull City defender was found guilty of assaulting a police officer, swearing, resisting arrest and attempted bribery by a Greek court.

Just hours after getting the backing of England manager Gareth Southgate, the Sheffield-born player was convicted of a number of charges and received a suspended prison sentence of 21 months.

Maguire, 27 – arrested in the early hours of Friday after an alleged incident on the Greek island of Mykonos – says he is determined to clear his name.

Meanwhile, Phillips admits that his England call has arrived earlier than he envisaged, but he has pledged to take his big chance with both hands.

He said: “I am buzzing. Never in a million years did I think I would get into this position, but I am here now and I cannot thank Leeds United enough for helping me get there.

“It is a big step, but I am going to take it and give it everything I can. It is massive for not just me, but also my family. I just want to push on, keep doing even better and see where it will take me.

“I don’t think I was expecting to get into the England squad this early, even before the season has started. I thought it would take quite a while, to be honest, but maybe I got lucky, I don’t know.

“It is massive news for me and my family and for the club. I am very happy and just grateful for the opportunity.”

Outstanding in United’s Championship title-winning season, Phillips has been monitored for the past year by Southgate following his stellar rise during the tenure of one of football’s leading coaches in Marcelo Bielsa.

His dynamism and technical and tactical prowess under Bielsa ultimately convinced Harrogate-based Southgate that the schemer is ready for promotion to the international stage.

Phillips will compete for a midfield berth alongside the likes of Manchester City’s Phil Foden, also handed his first call-up, West Ham’s Declan Rice, Chelsea’s Mason Mount and new Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse.

On promoting Phillips, Southgate – naming his first squad in almost 10 months – added: “He is a player that we have watched a lot over the last 12 months.

“Leeds have had an outstanding way of playing, the position he plays is one where we need competition and the way he plays in that role is clear to see.

“I spoke to him (on Tuesday morning) which was a nice reminder of what it means for somebody to be in their first England squad. It is a proud moment for him, his family and his club.

“Kalvin is a player who we have been very impressed with in that role at Leeds.

“He is obviously extremely well coached, they are an impressive team to watch.

“It is a step up for him because he has got to adjust to life in the Premier League, but it is a position we need some competition for places in and we are interested to look at him at this early stage of the season.”

On his decision to withdraw Maguire from the squad after initially supporting him, the England chief said: “In light of developments, I can confirm I have withdrawn Harry Maguire from the England squad.

“As I said earlier, I reserved the right to review the situation. Having spoken to Manchester United and the player, I have made this decision in the best interests of all parties and with consideration of the impact on our preparations for next week.”

Manchester United’s Bradford-born teenage forward Mason Greenwood is also named in the England squad for the first time.

There is no place for the Yorkshire-born trio of Fabian Delph, John Stones and Danny Rose or Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish.

Sheffield-born Kyle Walker has been recalled by Southgate, who has also included in-form Southampton forward Danny Ings, whose last game arrived in 2015.

Meanwhile, ex-Blades loanee Dean Henderson has been named in the squad and will battle it out for goalkeeping duties with Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope.

The Chelsea trio of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Fikayo Tomori and Ross Barkley miss out, while Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ben Chilwell and James Maddison are injured.

England squad: Goalkeepers: D Henderson (Manchester United), J Pickford (Everton), N Pope (Burnley). Defence: T Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), E Dier (Spurs), J Gomez (Liverpool), M Keane (Everton), T Mings (Aston Villa), K Trippier (Atletico Madrid), K Walker (Manchester City). Midfield: D Rice (West Ham), K Phillips (Leeds United), H Winks (Spurs), J Ward-Prowse (Southampton), P Foden (Manchester City), M Mount (Chelsea). Forwards: T Abraham (Chelsea), M Greenwood (Manchester United), J Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), M Rashford (Manchester United), D Ings (Southampton), H Kane (Spurs), R Sterling (Manchester City).

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James Mitchinson