The international football futures of Kalvin Phillips and Mason Greenwood appear set to be decided as the pair were selected into England’s 24-man squad for their upcoming UEFA Nations League fixtures against Iceland and Denmark, respectively, next month.
Both players who were born to Jamaican parents would have been eligible to play for the country and interest was previously expressed by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) in bringing Phillips and Greenwood into the national senior team. In an August 4 interview with The Gleaner, Reggae Boyz manager Roy Simpson had confirmed that an invitation had been extended to Phillips to join the team as part of the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.
“The fact that the possibility of playing for England has arose, we have to press on. We can only offer what we can offer but at the end of the day, the decision will be his,” he said. Simpson declined to comment yesterday when contacted and calls to JFF general secretary Dalton Wint and president Michael Ricketts went unanswered.
Phillips is coming off a season in which he helped his club Leeds United make their return to the Premier League after a 16-year absence.
England head coach Gareth Southgate praised Phillips’ development in his defensive midfield role under Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa and believes that his inclusion fills a need for competition for spots at his position