Gary Neville claimed that Leeds ace Kalvin Phillips is the best English midfielder when speaking on Sky Sports Premier League (7:47pm, September 17, 2021).
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Neville’s comments will come as somewhat of a surprise to the West Ham United fans. Rice accompanied Leeds ace Phillips for England during the Euros in the summer.
Together, they formed a sensational partnership and are both exceptional players in their own right.
To suggest that Phillips is the best English midfielder ‘without a shadow of a doubt’, however, is quite the claim.
Gary Neville makes bold claim about Leeds ace Kalvin Phillips
The Sky Sports pundit was waxing lyrical about the 25-year-old Whites star last night.
You can’t argue that he is a top class player. Marcelo Bielsa absolutely loves him and the Leeds fans are very lucky to have him at Elland Road.
For Neville to completely dismiss Declan Ricer in the conversation regarding the best midfielder in England, however, was quite frankly ridiculous.
The Sky Sports pundit said:
“He came into the Premier League 12 months ago. Now he is the best English midfield player there is, without a shadow of a doubt. He is actually a throwback a midfield player who can do everything. He runs, he tackles, he passes, he can defend, honestly, he is fantastic.”
Now, perhaps we’re biased here at Hammers News, but Rice is on an entirely different level to Phillips. That’s not taking anything away from the Leeds ace.
Phillips is a very, very good player. Dec just has a lot more strings to his bow.
The 22-year-old West Ham man is better at driving forward with the ball.
He is better at breaking up play as well…Rice made more interceptions than Phillips in the Premier League last season (PL official website).
Rice is definitely better in the air than the Leeds midfielder. The West Ham man averaged 1.4 successful aerial duels last season, 0.4 more than Phillips did (Who Scored).
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To not even mention Rice in the conversation is just purposefully controversial. And as West Ham fans, we have become used to that from all of the major the media outlets.