TalkSPORT pundit urges Southgate to avoid 'strange' decision over Leeds United 'baller' Phillips

TalkSPORT pundit Lianne Sanderson has urged England manager Gareth Southgate to keep faith with Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips against Germany, despite Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson nearing a return to full fitness.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 9:00 am
Kalvin Phillips. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Kalvin Phillips. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The Elland Road favourite has been an ever-present of the Three Lions campaign so far, and was awarded man-of-the-match for his display against Croatia in their group stage opener.

Since then, however, Anfield skipper Henderson has made a comeback from injury, and could be in contention to feature from the start on Tuesday evening having played 45 minutes against the Czech Republic last week.

But Sanderson is convinced that Phillips must keep his spot in the starting XI.

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Speaking to talkSPORT, she said: “Jordan Henderson I’m not doubting he’s a leader, but at the same time, what about productivity on the pitch?

"I’m not saying he can’t play, but Kalvin Phillips, you talk about a proper footballer, a baller who can make a pass. I’ve seen Kalvin Phillips this year ping a ball 70, 80 yards out into the channel.

"This Jordan Henderson fascination, I’m not doubting he’s a nice guy, nothing against him personally, but everyone was saying that Jordan Henderson had to get picked cause he's a leader and he barks orders at people – but what about on the football pitch?

"If we take out Declan Rice or Kalvin Phillips after Phillips had, for me, one of the best performances I’ve seen in an England shirt in a very long time against Croatia, that is strange to me.

"I’m not doubting he [Henderson] is a leader, he won the league with Liverpool, but you need more than that.”