The Leeds United midfielder has started all five of England’s games so far and seems set to start against Denmark on Wednesday at Wembley.

As England prepares to take on Denmark in the Euro 2020 semi-final on Wednesday, one player in particular may be reflecting on how far he’s come in such a short time.

Kalvin Phillips had never been called up to a senior national team or played in the Premier League as recently as this time last year.

He was obsessed with helping Leeds United achieve promotion. They’d just won 3-1 against Blackburn Rovers, a game in which Phillips scored, and were on the verge of promotion. They finished the long 2019-20 season with six straight victories to capture the title by a landslide.

Phillips was fielding calls from Gareth Southgate within a few months after impressing for United in their early games back in the Premier League.

On September 8 of last year, he made his Three Lions debut against Denmark in a goalless Nations League match.

How odd, however, that the same opponents await Phillips in the last-four match on Wednesday night, over 10 months after he first donned his country’s jersey.

The importance of the 25-year-old on Southgate’s team should not be underestimated. He’s started all five games thus far, and his presence in the engine room, whether in a more containing role or as a box-to-box specialist, has been critical.

With his key part in Raheem Sterling’s goal against Croatia in the opener, he demonstrated his calmness and ability to assist.

What’s more impressive is that he’s kept Jordan Henderson out of the starting lineup, limiting the Liverpool captain to only a few minutes off the bench.

Despite a busy year, there isn’t a better player to deal with such transitions. Phillips is known to be humble and down-to-earth by everyone who has spoken with him or been privy to his interviews.

That was evident in a recent interview conducted prior to the Germany game, in which he stated that he is still “star struck” by the speed with which he has achieved his goals.

“To be honest, I was a little star struck even when I initially joined up with the England team,” Phillips remarked.

“It’s a pleasant time for me. Looking back at where I used to play, reflecting on how far I’ve come since I was younger, and seeing how well you’re doing is always good.

“It’s all still a bit weird. It’s the same as it’s always been for me, as if I’m a fan who wants to know who we’ll play next. Obviously, I’m in a different circumstance now that I’m representing England, but I don’t let that bother me.

“I love football, I love international football, and I love England, so all I want to do is give it my all and have as much fun as I can.”

He’ll be hoping that his good fortune continues, and that cap number 14 brings him another victory and the chance to play in a major final for the first time in 55 years.