Arsenal could be handed quadruple injury boost ahead of Leeds United clash as Kalvin Phillips gives brilliant reply on England duty arrival

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The latest news headlines from Leeds United

Leeds United are set for almost two weeks off as the international break takes place, with a number of Whites stars jetting off to feature across the world. Sixteen players have left Elland Road to represent their countries at both youth and senior level this week.

Archie Gray (U17), James Debayo (U18), Sonny Perkins (U19), Darko Gyabi (U19) and Mateo Joseph (U20) will all represent England’s youth ranks, while the likes of Diego Monteiro (Portugal U18), Jeremiah Mullen (Scotland U21), Crysencio Summerville (Netherlands U21), Kristoffer Klaesson (Norway U21) and Illan Meslier (France U21) will all feature for their respective youth teams.

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Meanwhile, Willy Gnonto has unsurprisingly been called up for Italy after enjoying a brilliant few months in the Premier League. The 19-year-old has already earned nine caps for his country and could make an appearance in Italy’s EURO Qualifier against England tomorrow evening, before they take on Malta at the weekend.

Liam Cooper and Max Wober will take up their usual spots in the Scotland and Austria squads respectively, while Weston McKennie and Brenden Aaronson have linked up with the USA for the first time since the World Cup. Rasmus Kristensen also earned a late call-up for Denmark after his goal during Leeds’ 4-2 win over Wolves last time out.

Here are the latest headlines...

Kalvin Phillips on England duty

Kalvin Phillips arrived on England duty once again this week and had a hilarious response on his choice of outfit.

The Man City midfielder arrived at St. George’s Park ahead of the Three Lions’ EURO qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine and sported a pair of shorts, despite the cold weather. When asked why he has wearing shorts on England’s YouTube channel, Phillips said: “I’m from Leeds!”

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Born in Leeds, Phillips spent his whole life in West Yorkshire until he joined Man City for an initial £42 million last summer. The 27-year-old had the world at his feet prior to the switch and was named as England’s Men’s Player of the Year for his performances at the 2020 Euros, however he may now count himself lucky for remaining in the squad eversince.

Phillips has racked up 25 international caps since making his debut two-and-a-half years ago, however his inclusion in the most recent squad has received plenty of criticism due to his lack of game time for City. The midfielder has only made nine appearances in all competitions this season, while his only two starts have come in the two domestic cup competitions. His return from the World Cup in the winter was met with more controversy when Pep Guardiola publicly stated that he was overweight and he didn’t feature in their following four games.

Arsenal injury boost

Arsenal would massively benefit from the upcoming international break as they wait on four players to return to full fitness. The Gunners are set to host Leeds United in their first game back at the start of April.

Two players that have featured from the bench in recent weeks are Gabriel Jesus and Emile Smith Rowe, who have both recently returned from long-term injuries. Jesus has been a huge miss for the North London outfit after he picked up an injury at the World Cup, however the international break could give him a chance to continue his recovery and he could be ready to start against the Whites after starting from the bench in their previous two league matches. Meanwhile, Smith Rowe has struggled to make an impact since recovering from a thigh problem and will hope to get back to 100 per cent over the next couple of weeks.

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Elsewhere, Mikel Arteta will be eager to see Eddie Nketiah to be back fit against Leeds. The former Whites loanee has been absent since the start of the month and the Arsenal boss stated he was a ‘few weeks away’ ahead of their defeat to Sporting Lisbon, so he will be eager to make his comeback as soon as possible.

William Saliba would also potentially return after the international break after he was forced to pull out of the France squad with a back problem. The clash with Javi Gracia’s side may come too soon for the defender, however he will be keen to return as soon as possible.

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