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- JAKE LIVERMORE WOULD HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO FEEL AGGRIEVED IF NEWSPAPER REPORT COMES TRUE – OPINION
Jake Livermore would have every right to feel aggrieved if newspaper report comes true – opinion
It’s getting to that time again.
We’re a few months away from Euro 2020, and speculation around who will be in the England squad is rampant ahead of the next round of fixtures.
This week we’ve had a bit of a surprising story break as The Telegraph (via LeedsLive) have reported that Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips could be in line for a shot at playing on the international stage.
It’s somewhat surprising to see Gareth Southgate considering the United midfielder after saying that Jack Grealish needed to play in the Premier League before consideration last year.
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However, what’s even more surprising is that the England boss is opting for Phillips over another of the Championship’s top midfielders.
Indeed, Jake Livermore’s recent form is much better than Phillips’, and Southgate should be considering giving him his eighth England cap before handing the 24-year-old his first.
We waxed lyrical about Livermore’s performance against Bristol City earlier this week, but he’s been consistently brilliant for some time now.
He’s outperforming a man once hailed as the best player in the Championship in numerous areas, including tackles per game.
Tackling is Phillips’ bread and butter, averaging the eighth-most per match of any player in the division, yet, Livermore has been outdoing him recently in that area.
Now, you’d think a man known as the Yorkshire Pirlo would be sensational when it comes to passing, but the fact of the matter is that the West Brom man is outperforming him on that front as well, averaging more key passes per game lately.
You could point towards Leeds’ tough run as a reason for Phillips’ dip, but Livermore has faced just as many top-six sides as the 24-year-old in his previous ten outings.
Add into that the fact that his average rating is higher and he has fewer unsuccessful touches per game and you can see who is in better form.
Southgate himself has said that form is what he picks his squads on, and if that is the case Livermore should be above Phillips in the pecking order.
The Baggies’ star man has every right to feel aggrieved if the Leeds ace is called up ahead of him.
In other news, Luke Dowling deserves huge credit for two deals.