'I was fearful' - Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips admits he thought England dream was over after shoulder injury

Kalvin Phillips feared his England dream was over after a late season shoulder injury scare ahead of this summer's Euros.

Saturday, 5th June 2021, 5:18 pm
Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips in action for England at Wembley. Pic: Getty

Leeds United's crucial defensive midfielder has been included in Gareth Southgate's 26-man strong Three Lions squad for the delayed tournament.

Phillips - who made his international debut in autumn last year - had to be helped from the field of play in added time during the Whites' final Premier League outing of the campaign against West Brom.

The Yorkshire Pirlo, as he is affectionately known, fell awkwardly after a tackle on Baggies wide man Grady Diangana before exiting the pitch alongside Elland Road's physio team holding his shoulder.

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"It obviously wasn't a great injury," Phillips said ahead of England s final warm-up game with Romania on Sunday.

"It wasn't a good way to end the season. I dislocated my shoulder and was very fearful that I wouldn't be involved in the camp and in the tournament.

"Those are the first emotions that come to your head and I think I've recovered well and my shoulder feels fine now.

"I'm ready and raring to get going. My shoulder is good and I feel very confident in it now. I actually did think I was going to miss the Euros but my recovery has been excellent.

“The staff here (with England) and at the club have been excellent with me and I’m very grateful for that.”

Phillips featured 29 times in league action under Marcelo Bielsa's watch during his debut top flight term following promotion with his boyhood club.

The Thorp Arch academy product has impressed whenever called upon for Leeds and has taken the step into international football under Southgate's guidance over the last 10 months.

He earned inclusion before he had even kicked a Premier League ball in anger and admitted that thoughts of heading to the European Championships were a long way off initially.

"It was just to take every training session and every day as it comes," Phillips added over his first call-up in September.

"It was to try and do my best every day. I think when it came to the games it was to show what I can do and what difference I can make in certain areas. I believe I did that throughout the games.

"I'm obviously very thankful for the opportunity to be involved in a major tournament like this and I'll keep trying my best throughout the tournament."

The 25-year-old will be the first United player to head to a major finals with England since 2002 - when Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Fowler, Danny Mills and Nigel Martyn jetted off to the World Cup.

Phillips, though, revealed he felt overwhelmed upon hearing the news and is looking forward to representing his city, club and its fans when the tournament kicks off next week.

"I'm very excited," he said.

"When I got told I was in the squad the initial reaction... I was overwhelmed. I'm very proud. The messages on social media from Leeds fans, my family and not even just Leeds fans but fans from other clubs too.

"It's a really nice feeling. I'm very proud to be in the squad."

Southgate’s men begin the tournament on June 13 with a clash against Croatia in London at Wembley.

England will play all three group games at their home stadium with the tournament being played across 11 host cities to celebrate the competition’s 60-year history.

The Three Lions welcome Scotland on June 18 before a clash with the Czech Republic on June 22 to round off Group D.