Kalvin Phillips was forced to leave the pitch with a troublesome-looking injury during the early stages of England’s match against Germany in the Nations League on Tuesday evening. The Leeds United midfielder has struggled to maintain full fitness since impressing for his country at Euro 2020 a year ago and picked up yet another problem inside the opening 15 minutes against Germany at the Allianz Arena.
Phillips was selected to start alongside Declan Rice in the heart of England’s midfield but was left unable to continue after an innocuous collision with Germany defender Nico Schlotterbeck early on. The England man received treatment for what appeared to be a knock to his right leg and tried to play on, but he only managed to last for another few minutes and was eventually replaced by Jude Bellingham.
The Leeds midfielder has firmly established himself as a first-choice starter for England over the last few years but had only returned to fitness from a long-term hamstring injury at the end of the campaign just gone. Phillips played in each of Leeds’ final six Premier League matches to earn himself a recall into Gareth Southgate’s squad and was named on the bench for England’s defeat at the hands of Hungary on Saturday.
However, his latest injury will come as another crushing blow ahead of the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, which is set to get underway in November. Phillips will be hoping that his knock against Germany will not represent another major setback as he bids to stay fit in order to book his rightful place in the England squad for this year’s tournament.
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Phillips would almost certainly be a sure-fire starter for England in Qatar if he is called up by Southgate, with the Three Lions manager having already expressed his admiration for the midfielder on a number of previous occasions.
“It’s just over a calendar year since he first played for us and his contribution and impact on the team has been huge,” beamed Southgate when quizzed on Phillips towards the end of last year.
“We are always keen to have our best players available and he’s certainly been in that category over the past 12 months. He’s been excellent, the way he has taken to international football, it hasn’t surprised us because what we’d seen with Leeds, even in the Championship, we felt could convert into our team.
“We felt he could play an important role with us. To play in the enormity of the matches he did in the summer and play as well as he did is massive credit to him.
“He’s a very, very good player and he’s been a really important part of this. We’re 16 games unbeaten and he’s been a huge part of that.”
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