Phillips remains hopeful of England call-up as Man City midfielder steps up recovery

Manchester City's Kalvin Phillips during training Credit: Alamy
Manchester City's Kalvin Phillips during training Credit: Alamy

Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips remains hopeful of a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad as he continues his recovery.

The midfielder has been out of action since September when he had shoulder surgery. Since moving over to Man City he has played a total of 14 minutes.

Phillips was one of England’s best performers during Euro 2020 and Southgate clearly rates him.

Although with the clock ticking, Phillips won’t have much time now to prove his fitness levels to the England manager.

Pep Guardiola recently confirmed that Phillips would be on the bench against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup in midweek.

Phillips himself remains hopeful of being selected for the England squad ahead of the World Cup.

The midfielder explained (via BBC Sport): “The shoulder’s perfectly fine now.

“I have gone through a seven-week process of recovering as fast as I possibly can for the World Cup. Everything is going great.

“I’ve obviously not done it for quite a long time now but I’ve kept my fitness up and I’d like to think I could play 90 minutes.

“Pep has been great and he has spoken to me quite a lot. It is part of football and he understands that.

“After my first full contact session the other day he said he would hopefully try and get me minutes against Chelsea.

“[Following surgery] I spoke to Gareth and told him about my situation. I said I understood if he didn’t select me but he reassured me that ‘as long as you’re fit enough and you prove you’re progressing well, there’s always a chance you will be called up’.

“I’ve done everything in my power to be as fit as possible and hopefully I will be involved.”

Phillip’s also missed a large chunk of last season through injury. For Leeds United, he only started 18 Premier League matches last season.

Back in September, Southgate commented on Phillips and several other players who hadn’t had much game time.

The England manager explained: “There were certain players we wanted to keep involved this time, but that said it doesn’t mean that this is the end for some of the others who aren’t involved.

“Clearly, we have a number of players including Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips who are not playing a lot of minutes with their club.

“It is not ideal, but we feel they have been, and can be, important players for us. It is not a perfect situation but there is still a lot of football to be played before Qatar.”

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