Kalvin Phillips has established himself in Gareth Southgate’s England side – picking up four caps largely thanks to his enormous improvement under Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa. He is a shoe-in to be named in the Euro 2021 squad next summer as the race for a place in the 23-man list hots up – and Sanchez Watt thinks Leeds have two other potential England stars.
Sitting pretty in 12th place in the Premier League after Sunday’s win over Burnley, the Whites have made an excellent start to life back in the top tier – in what is their first Premier League season since relegation and financial collapse in 2004. Bielsa has kept his style, the Leeds players have kept their faith, and the combination continues to prove dividends on the pitch.
Mateusz Klich has become a regular with Poland, the same with Gjanni Alioski at Macedonia and Liam Cooper at Scotland. Robin Koch (Germany), Diego Llorente and Rodrigo (Spain), and Tyler Roberts (Wales) are all expected to be at Euro 2021 – along with Phillips. But could two other Leeds players join midfielder Phillips in Southgate’s squad?
Ex-Leeds winger Sanchez Watt thinks they at least deserve a call-up for the next England squad, when the Three Lions take on San Marino, Albania and Klich’s Poland in March. Watt reckons Luke Ayling – his former Arsenal academy teammate – and Patrick Bamford, who has 10 goals in 15 league games, deserve to be included in Southgate’s squad following their recent performances.
Realistically, Bamford and Ayling are unlikely to break into the Englans set-up. England’s best area is right-back in terms of competitions – with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Tariq Lamptey and others vying for a place in the team. Bamford, meanwhile, is behind Harry Kane, Tammy Abraham, Dom Calvert-Lewin, Danny Ings and potentially even more.
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If both are to break into the England side and even the Euro 2021 list, they will need to up their incredible form even more so – and hope for some injuries.