Gareth Southgate issues Kalvin Phillips England verdict, Leeds United eye Fulham youngster

Leeds United are preparing for a Premier League clash with Liverpool this weekend in the Premier League - take a look at Thursday's key morning headlines from Elland Road below.

Leeds United's home ground of Elland Road. Pic: Getty
Leeds United's home ground of Elland Road. Pic: Getty

Southgate assesses Phillips' first year

Gareth Southgate has praised Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips for becoming a 'huge part' of England's success over the past year but insists it comes as no surprise.

A defensive midfielder at Leeds, where he came through the academy, Phillips has played in a more advanced role for his country since making an international debut a year ago today.

"He's been excellent," said the Three Lions boss.

"The way he has taken to international football, it hasn't surprised us because what we'd seen with Leeds, even in the Championship, we felt could convert into our team. We felt he could play an important role with us.

"To play in the enormity of the matches he did in the summer and play as well as he did is massive credit to him.

"He's a very, very good player and he's been a really important part of this - we're 16 games unbeaten [in regulation time] now and he's been a huge part of that."

Premier League transfer rumours

Leeds United and West Ham want Fulham starlet Fabio Carvalho, but could face competition from Real Madrid. (Daily Mail)

Paris St-Germain are interested in 28-year-old Germany defender Antonio Rudiger, who has less than a year left on his Chelsea contract. (Le10Sport)

Manchester United have identified West Ham's England international Declan Rice as their first-choice midfield target in next summer's transfer window. (Manchester Evening News)

Donny van de Beek had agreed terms on a loan move to Everton in the summer transfer window but Manchester United blocked the 24-year-old Dutch midfielder's exit. (Express)

Tottenham's Ryan Sessegnon could be set for another loan spell with the 21-year-old England U21 star set to be sent out on loan to Turkish side Fenerbahce. (CNN Turk - in Turkish)

Whites U23s edged out by Wigan

A young Leeds United Under-23s outfit were edged out 2-1 by Wigan Athletic in the club's Premier League Cup opener on Wednesday night.

The Whites selected a youthful side for the clash at the LNER stadium in York - with just three Under-23 squad regulars in Sean McGurk, Dani Van den Huevel and Charlie Allen involved.

United have been drawn in Group E of this year's competition alongside the Latics, Sunderland and Mansfield Town.

Leeds went ahead through captain Kris Moore but were hit by a quickfire double from Wigan, which saw the Latics take victory.

"We knew it was going to be a tough challenge," head coach Mark Jackson told the YEP post-match.

"We had it in our minds at the start of the year that this could potentially be a competition we could utilise to challenge the Under-18s players. I think it proved tonight we have players who are young and hungry to play the Leeds United way."