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Wharton 'ready' to fill Phillips role for England

Adam Wharton
Adam Wharton started the season playing in the Championship for Blackburn [Getty Images]

Adam Wharton says he can be Kalvin Phillips' replacement in Gareth Southgate's England midfield at Euro 2024.

Right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has started England's two group games in midfield, a move which Southgate admitted "is an experiment".

Wharton, who joined Crystal Palace from Championship side Blackburn on 1 February, is one of the potential candidates to replace him and play alongside Declan Rice.

"I have got belief that no matter who, where, when I play football that I can affect a game so you have to think like that," said the 20-year-old.

"If I think I can’t handle this, then what am I doing here? The way I look at it now, I believe I can affect any game I play in so I am just making sure I am ready if I am called upon to help."

Phillips started every game as England reached the Euro 2020 final and was named England's player of the year that season.

But after joining Manchester City from Leeds in 2022 he struggled for first-team football, and a poor loan spell at West Ham saw him drop out of the England squad.

After the 1-1 draw with Denmark in Frankfurt on Thursday, Southgate said "we don't have a natural replacement for Kalvin Phillips".

Former Blackburn midfielder Wharton, who has only played 28 minutes for England so far, said: "You look at the last Euros and Kalvin was one of the best players for England and we got to the final.

"If there was someone like that playing at this tournament, you'd be saying the same thing I think.

"It's difficult to say because I've not seen too much of him the last couple of seasons. But there's probably similarities in where we play and certain attributes, but there's obviously going to be things he's better than me at and I'm better than him at."

England face Slovenia on Tuesday (20:00 BST) as they attempt to top Group C before the knockout stages.