Curtis Davies has told Sky Sports’ The Debate that he believes Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips and Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish should be considered for a place in Gareth Southgate’s England side.
Phillips, 23, has benefited from Marcelo Bielsa’s appointment as manager at Elland Road. He has been converted from an attacking midfielder into playing at the base of the midfield – and even at centre-back.
Grealish, meanwhile, has been in superb form for Villa. He was the matchwinner in Sunday’s Second City derby, scoring the winner despite being attacked by a fan prior to his left-footed strike.
Derby County defender Davies was asked if any Championship players deserve a chance in the England set-up, and he responded by picking Grealish and Phillips after excellent 2018-19 campaigns.
“The quality of a Grealish,” Davies responded on Sky Sports. “Having played directly against him, I know he has had injuries this year, but he’s a Premier League player, [who is] playing in the Championship. The way he plays.
“Kalvin Phillips has been brilliant in that [number 6] role. We spoke about the Fernandinho role. For Leeds, the way they are like the flying arrows. Again, two centre-halves and Kalvin Philips. The ground he covers and the work he puts in is phenomenal.”
The chances of either Grealish or Phillips getting a place in the England side while playing in the second tier is slim. But in terms of what England have right now, Phillips has a better chance than Grealish.
Jordan Henderson and Eric Dier are struggling for game time, while Fabian Delph has struggled with injury. Phillips certainly has a chance – based on form – to break into the side.
But for Grealish, Southgate would have to consider dropping the likes of Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard and more to accommodate the Villa academy product.