Paul Ince issues glowing Kalvin Phillips verdict after Leeds United ace 'snuffs out' Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes

PAUL Ince delivered a glowing verdict of Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips after 'snuffing out' Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes at Elland Road.

By Lee Sobot
Sunday, 25th April 2021, 9:23 pm

Ince believes the 25-year-old Whites midfielder has all the attributes to be a "world class midfielder" and must start for England, even if West Ham's Declan Rice and Liverpool's Jordan Henderson are both fit.

Phillips again filled his usual holding midfield role for Sunday's Premier League clash against the Red Devils in which the Whites Academy graduate faced prolific Red Devils star Fernandes.

Attacking midfielder Fernandes sits a clear third in the division's Golden Boot race having netted 16 goals in addition to providing 11 assists.

ON THE SCENE: Leeds United's England international midfielder Kalvin Phillips, right, challenges Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes, left, in Sunday's goalless draw at Elland Road. Photo by JON SUPER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.

However, the Portugal international endured a frustrating afternoon in combat with Phillips and sent his one clear cut chance wide in the second half.

Ince played in a similar position during his heyday for both Manchester United and England - and has been hugely impressed with the Leeds player dubbed the 'Yorkshire Pirlo' by his club's fans.

"I have looked at a lot of English midfield players this year and none has impressed me more than Kalvin Phillips " said Ince on Sky Sports.

"Playing in that position myself, he has got everything and all the attributes you would want to be a top, top world class midfield player.

"They did the man to man marking system against Fernandes and he snuffed him out.

"He looked disinterested Fernandes, only because of Philips and the presence that Phillips put on top of him.

"You have to be disciplined in doing that, sometimes you have to kind of forsake your own performance to snuff them out.

"He is neat on the ball, he is calm, he doesn't panic and I love his pass for Helder Costa. What a ball that is.

"If that would have been someone from Man United or Man City they would have been going bananas about it.

"He sees everything and he is going to learn, he is going to grow, he is going to progress.

"People go mad about Declan Rice - this kid is up there with him in all."

Asked if Phillips should start for England at this summer's Euros, Ince said: "He's got to start.

"I'm not sure what is going to happen with Henderson. I'm not sure whether he is going to be fit but if he (Henderson) is fit he (Phillips) still starts for me.

"He has got all the attributes to be a world class midfield player."

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Thank you Laura Collins