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Kalvin Phillips, the looming exit


When Manchester City signed Kalvin Phillips from Leeds United in the summer of 2022, many fans and pundits alike expected him to become a mainstay for the Cityzens. A year later, the England international is struggling for game time, despite Man City’s midfield being depleted in many ways. With Rodri suspended, it was expected that Phillips would get the chance to prove his worth to Pep Guardiola, however, other midfielders have been deployed as replacements in recent games.

Injuries and below par performances have blighted his time at City making it difficult for him to nail down a regular starting berth. Last season, he managed only 12 appearances in the league and never really hit the heights of his time at Leeds. The England international remained committed to fighting for his place in the side over the summer but with Euro 2024 on the horizon, things are beginning to change.

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In a recent interview, Roy Keane indicated that he believes that Pep Guardiola does not trust Phillips hence his omission despite injuries and suspension in the midfield.

“[Guardiola] doesn’t trust him. He’s had a couple of chances. He played a few weeks ago. But he didn’t play him in the big game with all the injuries. He played at Newcastle two or three weeks ago in the cup game, and he didn’t do too much good. He didn’t do enough.

“You’ve got to win the manager’s trust. He [Guardiola] works with him every day in training. There’s a reason why he’s not playing and he doesn’t trust him. He watched him against Newcastle two weeks ago in a cup match and obviously went ‘I don’t like what I see’. So when it got to the Arsenal game he said ‘I don’t trust you’. He doesn’t believe he can do a job for him.”

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An underwhelming performance in the cup against Newcastle did not do wonders for the 27-year-old’s quest to start more games and cement his place in the team. The signing of Matheus Nunes has forced Kalvin further down the pecking order and a move away in January is now looking very likely.

Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Newcastle are all in the race at the moment as they seek to bolster their midfields with Thomas Tuchel in particular interested after missing out on Joao Palhinha on deadline day. A loan or permanent move will be considered as long as it suits the club and player as demonstrated over the summer with Aymeric Laporte.

Kalvin Phillips will be looking to make the England squad for Euro 2024 and might need to look elsewhere for playing time. The £40m move to City a little over a year ago has not exactly gone according to plan and moving away might just give him the opportunity to revitalize his career.

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