Former Leeds United manager and youth-team boss Neil Redfearn has been discussing the ability of current Elland Road hero Kalvin Phillips.
The former Leeds boss, who managed the club during the Massimo Cellino era, handed Phillips his debut for the club back in 2015.
Speaking to the Scarborough News Extra Time podcast, Redfearn admitted he was honoured to have handed the ‘outstanding’ Phillips his Leeds chance.
“The world is his oyster. He’s a fantastic young talent. First of all he is a beautiful build for a midfield player. He’s got a physical presence that people overlook sometimes. He can compete, he can break stuff up. In possession, his ability is second to none. His range of passing is fantastic, that’s something he has always had.
“It were great for me to have the opportunity to give him his debut…Just an outstanding talent.”
Redfearn went on to discuss the possibility of Phillips playing for England. There was a growing belief that the 24-year-old could force his way into Gareth Southgate’s team for the Euro 2020 tournament.
Indeed, it seemed that Phillips might be in line for a first England call-up for the postponed March international friendly fixtures against Italy and Denmark.
Redfearn is clearly of the belief that Phillips is capable of playing for his country, and does not feel that he needs to play in the Premier League to make the step up.
“He’s playing for, arguably, one of the best coaches in the world (in) Marcelo Bielsa. So he is learning off the best. Regardless of the level that he’s at, if he is playing at his potential and delivering every week and is consistent then for me, if I were manager of England, you’ve got to be considering him…
“If you look at the midfield players he’s up against, someone like Declan Rice. I’m not saying that he’s not a bad young player but to me he’s not in the same ilk as Kalvin. I don’t think there’s any comparison to be honest with you. Maybe it’s the fact he’s playing in the Premier League with West Ham that he gets in I don’t know but I think they are missing a trick if they are leaving him out for that.”
It is high praise to rate Phillips higher than Rice. The West Ham star has been linked with a host of the Premier League’s elite, with The Guardian recently reporting that the Hammers would demand £70 million for the 21-year-old.
Clearly, Redfearn believes that Phillips is the superior player and should command a similarly massive price-tag should Leeds be forced to sell.