Declan Rice has described Kalvin Phillips as ‘one of the best professionals he’s ever seen’ amid his Manchester City struggles.
The midfielder is enduring a tough time with the treble-winners after falling way down the pecking order under Pep Guardiola.
Phillips was limited to 21 appearances in his first season at City last term, while this season he’s started just once for the Premier League champions.
Despite his lack of match action, the 27-year-old has continued to be trusted by Gareth Southgate to play his part for England as they look ahead to 2024.
But while some have suggested that Phillips doesn’t deserve to be involved, Arsenal star Rice paid huge tribute to how the midfielder has dealt with his recent struggles.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Rice said: “He’s one of the best professionals I’ve ever seen, if I’m honest with you.
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“I’ve seen players who don’t play and throw their toys out of the pram completely and with Kal, every time he comes back here he pops on a shirt and puts in 110 per cent.
“He played with me against Scotland and I think that was his first start in a while and he played really well, so I’ll never question his professionalism and I don’t think any of the lads will.
“As a person as well, he’s an all-round top guy and he brings that onto the pitch.
“It’s obviously difficult when you’re not playing as a footballer and I know he wants to be playing more, for sure, but mentally he hasn’t broken.
“He hasn’t throw his toys out of the pram. He gives everything every day, he still improves and still plays with a smile on his face so I can’t speak highly enough of him.”
Phillips will be hoping to be in action for England against North Macedonia – a clash that will be live on talkSPORT on Tuesday night.