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Marcelo Bielsa Gave Kalvin Phillips A Gift To Celebrate First England Call Up

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Marcelo Bielsa Gave Kalvin Phillips A Gift To Celebrate First England Call Up

Marcelo Bielsa gifted Kalvin Phillips a Newell's Old Boys replica shirt, to congratulate the Leeds United midfielder on getting his first call-up to the England squad.

Phillips is in Gareth Southgate's squad at the moment, for yesterday's draw against Iceland and Tuesday's game against Denmark, for his impressive form in the Championship last season for Leeds United.

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According to the Telegraph, his manager at Leeds was not 'all too impressed' with losing the midfielder from training a week before their opening game of the season but was still happy for the player.

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To celebrate the moment the manager gave the player a shirt from the club he managed to a Copa Libertadores final.

"It's an old playing shirt from when he used to play, which I'll ask him to sign," Phillips said of the present.

"He sent me a little note as well, I'm going to get that framed, it says that my hard work has paid off but it doesn't stop here."

Phillips, centre, celebrates promotion with his Leeds' teammates. Image: PA Images
Phillips, centre, celebrates promotion with his Leeds' teammates. Image: PA Images
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Phillips didn't make it onto the pitch against Iceland, with Danny Ings, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mason Greenwood used as the substitutes, but the 24-year-old will soon get his chance to shine in the Premier League.

Leeds are back in the top tier for the first time in 15 years after winning the Championship and it'll be champions vs champions when they open their campaign against Liverpool on Saturday.

Describing what it's like to work with Bielsa, the Leeds born player said, "He videos every minute of every training session - the warm ups, the tactical stuff and even the game and will just tell us what we need to do and what we need to start doing in training and games in specific moments.

"There is his little office and calls up his staff when he needs them, so we don't really see him, unless he's out on the training pitch and you do something wrong.

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Bielsa engulfed by his players at the Championship title celebration. Image: PA Images
Bielsa engulfed by his players at the Championship title celebration. Image: PA Images

"...He was kind of pulling his hair out because there were quite a few lads going off to internationals. He was thinking he didn't have enough time to prepare for Liverpool."

Phillips plays in a more defensive midfield role, which is one reason he was so interesting to Southgate despite not making any appearances in the top tier.

The player though explained he didn't play in a more withdrawn role until the manager arrived in Yorkshire, "I was very surprised when the manager told me about switching positions because I was a box-to-box No 8 and had even been playing as a No 10 and scored a few goals.

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"It took a good six or seven months for me to get used to it and to understand where to be on the pitch, where to get the ball, where not to get the ball, and I also had to work on the defensive side of my game as well."

Topics: Kalvin Phillips, Football News, Marcelo Bielsa, Nations League, International Football, Premier League, England, Leeds United, Gareth Southgate

Ryan Sidle
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