Kalvin Phillips: England call-up takes Leeds midfielder by surprise

Phillips: "I thought it would take quite a while, to be honest, but maybe I got lucky, I don't know."

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Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips tells us his reaction after he was called into the England squad

Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips has admitted he was a little surprised to have been called into the England squad so soon.

Phillips is one of three uncapped players to be included in Gareth Southgate's squad for next month's Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark alongside Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood.

It caps a fine few months for Phillips, who will be playing in the Premier League this season after Leeds claimed the Championship title.

He told Sky Sports: "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."

Leeds are back in the top fight for the first time since 2004 and Phillips could now become the first player from the club to be capped by England since Alan Smith that same year.

"It's massive news for me and my family and for the club," said Phillips.

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"I'm very happy and just grateful for the opportunity.

KAlvin 0:40
England boss Gareth Southgate says ringing Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips to give him his first England call-up was 'a lovely moment'

"My agent rang me and said Gareth Southgate had been in touch and he wanted to speak to me.

"He rang me on the way into training and obviously I was very nervous. I didn't really know what to say.

"But he mentioned he had been tracking me for a while and likes the way that I play, so he wanted me to come and join the lads at St George's Park."

Phillips came through the academy at his hometown club and agreed that passing on the news to his family and team-mates had been quite emotional.

Kalvin Phillips celebrates with Leeds team-mates in pre-season
Image: Phillips and Leeds are back in the Premier League for the 2020/21 campaign

He said: "I'm obviously a very happy person and just to break the news to my family is the most important thing and the lads here as well, it's a very touching moment for me.

"It's massive. As a club we strive to put English people in position like this and I'm one of many that should hopefully go on and make more international caps playing for Leeds United.

"I'm a player who doesn't take anything for granted, so hopefully I can go there, do well and just get as many games as possible.

"Even if it's one game, I don't mind. I'm just so happy."

Analysis: Southgate's youth drive continues

Sky Sports' Nick Wright:

The biggest talking point from Southgate's squad is the presence of Harry Maguire despite his involvement in ongoing legal proceedings in Greece, but what's most interesting is the inclusion of three newcomers at senior level in Phil Foden, Mason Greenwood and Kalvin Phillips.

The midfield is particularly youthful, with James Ward-Prowse the oldest of the six players called up at just 25. Phillips will hope to rival Declan Rice and Harry Winks for a place in the base of that midfield, while Foden could finally get a chance to showcase his creative qualities further forward. His inclusion comes at the expense of Jack Grealish, who seemingly has more work to do to win over Southgate.

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