England’s qualification for the Euros was sealed with a 3-1 triumph over Italy at Wembley on the previous evening, and the much-discussed target of Newcastle, Kalvin Phillips, enjoyed a rare starting role.
The 27-year-old, who has seen limited action for Manchester City this season, has sparked numerous transfer speculations that he might leave in January, with Newcastle poised to secure his signature should he opt for a transfer.
In the recent match, Phillips’s performance in midfield was instrumental in England’s comeback from a 1-0 deficit, earning accolades from some of his teammates. Jude Bellingham and James Maddison, both fellow midfielders, expressed their admiration for Phillips on social media.
Following the game, Phillips expressed his joy on Instagram about England’s Euro qualification: “Buzzing to qualify for the EUROS!! Perfect international break with the boys.”
Bellingham responded quickly with a “my brother” comment, and Maddison conveyed his appreciation with heart and applause emojis.
During the match, Phillips, who joined City for approximately £45 million last year, played alongside Declan Rice and Bellingham in the midfield but didn’t exhibit his peak performance, considering it was only his third start for club or country this season.
He received a yellow card for a series of fouls throughout the game and managed to win just one tackle in the 70 minutes he played. However, his passing was notably accurate, with 32 successful completions out of 34 attempts, which surely piqued Newcastle’s interest.
Eddie Howe appears to have a keen desire to have Phillips anchor his midfield, providing robust support for players like Bruno Guimaraes and Joelinton to advance further up the pitch. While his defensive prowess may not have been on full display, his ability to cover ground and maintain composure on the ball in the recent game demonstrates his potential as a valuable addition to the Magpies.