The maiden call-up of Leeds United midfield general Kalvin Phillips to the England senior set-up has been roundly slated by one pundit.
The 24-year-old’s tenacious talents have never been in doubt while on the field for his boyhood club Leeds.
But with Marcelo Bielsa’s side only having achieved promotion to the top flight this summer, Phillips is thus far unproven at the top level.
Call-ups from the Championship are not all that unfamiliar. Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount received the honour while on loan at Derby Couty in 2018.
Nevertheless, the decision to select Phillips has not gone down well with ex-Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant.
Speaking to Jamie O’Hara recently on talkSPORT, Pennant insisted Phillips simply “shouldn’t be in there.”
“I’m taking out Kalvin Phillips,” said Pennant.
“The reason being there’s a big difference between the Championship and the Premier League and there’s a big difference again between the Premier league and international football.
“You can’t pick someone for your national team based on a season in the Championship, that’s just my personal opinion.”
“He hasn’t been tested at the top level,” agreed O’Hara.
“Yeah that’s my point,” said Pennant. “He shouldn’t be in there.
Leeds closing in on Serie A midfielder
Meanwhile, the Whites are reported to be closing on a transfer agreement to sign Udinese midfielder Rodrigo de Paul after holding positive talks.
Leeds are preparing for their return to the Premier League after a 16-year absence.
Rodrigo Moreno and Robin Koch have arrived at Elland Road over the weekend, as Leeds strengthen their squad.
Now, they have turned their attention to another high-profile player. According to Mike McGrath of the Telegraph, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano and Phil Hay of The Athletic, Leeds are strongly considering a move for De Paul.
De Paul has been a consistent performer for Udinese over the past four seasons, becoming their vice-captain. However, he could call time on his spell in Serie A this summer.