Former Manchester United star gives Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips his England Euros backing

ROY Keane says England will be in safe hands with Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips in midfield at the Euros.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 2:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 2:40 pm

Whites star Phillips is part of Gareth Southgate's final 26-man squad for this summer's European Championships which begin this weekend.

England will start their quest for glory with Sunday's Group C opener against Croatia at Wembley for which Southgate must now decide whether Phillips will start in midfield.

The Three Lions boss has various issues to consider such as the fitness of Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson who played his first 45 minutes in nearly four months as a second half substitute in Sunday's friendly against Romania at the Riverside.

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BACKING: For Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips from former Manchester United captain Roy Keane, above. Photo by NICK POTTS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.

West Ham United's Declan Rice is the other leading option for a holding berth in midfield and Keane has given his backing to Phillips if asked to play a starring role.

Speaking alongside Micah Richards on Sky Bet's Micah and Roy's Road to Wembley, former Manchester United captain Keane ran through his idea of the best England team for the Euros and said: "It's tough. Look at the right backs he's got. Tripper doesn't even get a mention. Tripper has just won the league in Spain

"You've got Walker. He's given away three goals in the Premier League this year and I think he has given away one for England.

"He's got his pace which gets him out of trouble.

"They've got Reece James from Chelsea.

"If Maguire is fit you would have to go with Maguire and probably Stones (at centre-back).

"Left back, probably Shaw."

Pressed by Richards on the midfield if England are playing just one 'holder' Keane said: "If you're going that way, if Jordan Henderson is not fit, he'll definitely go with Rice in there.

"I like Phillips and if something happened to Rice, with Phillips - no problem.

"To me, two players who would have to play would definitely be Foden and Mount.

"You've got Kane up through the middle so that's sorted and Gareth definitely likes Rashford and Sterling.

"Sometimes you look at the players who have had a quiet spell, quiet because they have set such high standards.

"So Rashford and Sterling for example.

"But I think that' a good thing so you are going into the tournament going these lads are maybe ready to explode."

Asked about leaving out Grealish, Keane said: "I like Jack but I think if Jack is playing you have to be realistic, you'd have to leave out maybe Mount or Foden."

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Thank you Laura Collins