England hopes grow for Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips

Leeds United are confident “conservative treatment” will allow Kalvin Phillips to play at this summer’s European Championships despite picking up an injury in the final seconds of his club season.

Injury concern: Kalvin Phillips.
  Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Injury concern: Kalvin Phillips. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

The Leeds-born midfielder injured his right shoulder in stoppage time of Leeds’s final game of the Premier League campaign, Sunday’s 3-1 win at home to West Bromwich Albion. He had earlier scored his first Premier League goal from a free-kick. Phillips, who had lengthy treatment on the field, did not appear for the post-match lap of honour and the injury was of particular concern because he dislocated his shoulder in the autumn.

He picked up the problem at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers in October and was out for five weeks, missing England’s games against the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland, although he avoided the need for surgery.

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England manager Gareth Southgate is due to name his provisional squad for the tournament today, although Uefa’s deadline for squads to be submitted is June 1.

Since making his debut in September’s friendly against Denmark, Phillips has won six more caps, all but one from the start.

Although he has excelled as a “single pivot” (and occasional third central defender) under Marcelo Bielsa’s management at Leeds, he showed another side to his game in international football this season, sometimes playing as one of two holding midfielders but often in advance of Declan Rice, a throwback to his earlier days.

Whether he would have been a first choice in England’s competitive midfield or not – and he may well – it seems inconceivable he would not be picked if fit, so Leeds’s medical update yesterday will be well received.

It said that the injury “is currently being treated conservatively (and) we remain confident he will be available for Euro 2020, if selected for the England squad.”