Gareth Southgate reveals Leeds duo being monitored by England for Euro 2021

Coach is now open to players such as Kalvin Phillips and Ben White taking advantage after the postponement of Euro 2020

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Saturday 13 June 2020 18:19 BST
Kalvin Phillips has impressed for Leeds in their promotion push
Kalvin Phillips has impressed for Leeds in their promotion push (Getty)

Gareth Southgate has name-checked two Leeds United players as potential members of England’s European Championships squad next year after the tournament was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Southgate is keeping tabs on midfielder Kalvin Phillips and Ben White, the on-loan Brighton defender, and he believes both could compete for a place if playing regular Premier League football next season.

The England manager believes that the postponement of the Euros will give younger players currently on the fringes of international football an opportunity to break into his 23-man selection.

And Southgate hopes uncapped teenage prospects already playing in the top flight – such as Manchester City’s Phil Foden and his Manchester United counterpart Mason Greenwood – will play enough competitive football to earn a place.

“When we’re analysing our players – and we’ve done quite a lot of in depth analysis over the past months, position by position – we talk about potential a lot,” he said. “With the Greenwoods and the Fodens I think that’s fine.

Ben White is also being tracked by Southgate (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

“The danger is when you’re still talking about potential at 24 and 25. It depends on what their season starts to look like. If they have a season in terms of opportunity, like Mason Mount did this year – playing in the Champions League, playing in a top four side, playing under pressure – then that can be a great development year for them.

“I’m very conscious there will be a group of around 30 to 35 who have been in and around our squad the past 12-18 months, who will be in the frame, but there will be some guys who come late.

“We’ve talked about those two but it could be a Ben White, who has been on loan at Leeds, or a Kalvin Phillips, that haven’t played Premier League football yet. Those sorts of players could come into the frame. We’re always open to what it looks like.”

Foden, in particular, has been tipped to become an England regular for some time now but is still waiting to make his senior debut, two-and-a-half years after his first appearance for City.

Still just 20-years-old, Foden has turned out 26 times for Pep Guardiola’s side this season yet has made only three Premier League starts, and Southgate wants to see him playing more regularly in the future.

“I think it’s quite interesting we’re seeing that sort of player in that sort of advanced midfield role – like Mount, like Foden, who we’ve had such high hopes for in the England system for quite a while,” he said.

“Phil is definitely a different sort of player, with attributes that are rare in our game.

“It’s great that we are developing these players but the obvious thing is he’s got to play. If he’s not playing regularly… if he can break into Manchester City’s team he will clearly be playing at a very high level and he will be in our squad without a doubt.”

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