Rooney warns Rice after Leeds Star calls up England – originally published on Sportslens.com
Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips received his first call-up in England last week after a formidable campaign English championship last term.
The 24-year-old played a major role in Marcelo Bielsa's side securing their first promotion after a 16-year absence, making their debut with the three Lions in next month's UEFA Nations League group stage matches against Iceland and Denmark.
At the moment, Phillips has people like Declan Rice of West Ham United in the pecking order of manager Gareth Southgate, but Wayne Rooney warned the 21-year-old after the Leeds star called.  “The biggest void England has is in the middle – after Jordan Henderson recovering from an injury they have no other established high profile midfielder. It is the position England is most lacking in. I want someone to make this place besides Jordan their own, ”wrote the Three Lions legend in his column in the Sunday Times.
“That's why Gareth Kalvin Phillips and the Leeds youngster deserved their chance.
“Declan Rice has the ability and character to do this. It's a big season for him. After a few good campaigns at West Ham and promising results for England, can he cement his place? “
Phillips scored twice and assisted two more in 40 appearances for Leeds last season and his midfield performance definitely caught Southgate's attention.
The English boss hasn't even waited to make his Premier League debut and that speaks volumes.
Rice did brilliant last season for West Ham and was named Player of the Year for contributing to every minute of his league campaign and helping them keep it safe.
His defensive skills, his awareness and his skills on the ball make him able to play in the center-back as well and that's why Chelsea want him this summer.
Reis can only get better and has continued to demonstrate his skills in the top division, but Phillips will try to give him a run for his money in the English squad and it will be interesting to see how the midfielder does this term is used in Leeds.