England manager Gareth Southgate has named Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips and centre-back Ben White as two players who could potentially break into the Three Lions side ahead of the European Championships next year.
“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 as quoted by The Independent.
“With the Greenwoods and the Fodens I think that’s fine.
“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.”
With the Euros having been postponed to next year due to the COVID-19 crisis, a lot of players will have an opportunity to stake a claim to be included in the England side ahead of the tournament.
Leeds are currently in pole position on the Championship standings and are expected to gain promotion to the Premier League this season for the first time since 2004.
If Leeds is in the Premier League next season, Phillips chances of winning selection to England’s European Championship squad will be improved.
The 24-year-old Phillips has been a first-team regular for Marcelo Bielsa’s side this season and has thus far made 34-appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal.
He is a product of the Leeds youth development system and has been playing for the first-team since 2014.
White has spent the majority of this season with Leeds and is an important part of the Yorkshire club’s defence.
He has made 40-appearances in all competitions for Bielsa’s side.
Leeds return to Championship action this weekend with a clash against Cardiff City in Wales.