Will Kalvin Phillips come good at City?

Published on 4 October 2023 at 20:09

With Pep Guardiola tending to favour other members of the squad, will Kalvin Phillips ever become a City regular, or is his time effectively already up at The Citizens. Fellow midfielder and key man Rodri is banned for the big game on Sunday against Arsenal, could Phillips fill this void, or will Pep lean toward the two new signings Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes in midfield instead.

Kalvin Phillips is quickly becoming the forgotten man in Manchester, after making the move from Leeds in July 2022 for £42 million, he has somewhat lost his way at the current European champions. Phillips played over 2500 minutes of football with Leeds in the 2020/21 season, followed by just shy of 2000 minutes in the 2021/22 season. With Manchester City last season, he played only 500 minutes to mark a dismal first term. This season, Phillips has only played 70 minutes of Premier League football, with all these minutes coming from the bench. So far, it is fair to say the combative midfielder has had a torrid time at City, with the Euros coming up in Germany next year, Phillips needs to rediscover his past form to have a chance of making the England squad.

The popular Yorkshireman certainly had a tough first campaign with City last term – however this year, he will certainly be looking to re-write his Man City script and put things right. Many people at Leeds and now City too have said how friendly and welcoming Kalvin is as a person, which has won him many friends both with the players and staff at City upon his arrival. However, despite his friendly nature off the pitch, this hasn’t corresponded with performances on it. With the majority of Phillips’ appearances for The Sky Blues coming from the bench, Phillips will certainly be attempting to break into the starting XI this season.

Rodri, arguably City’s most important midfielder, has been suspended for the previous two domestic games – which paved a way for Phillips to be brought into the starting line-up against Newcastle. In the second game where Rodri was absent against Wolves, he was only good enough to come off the bench, yet again. The Spanish defensive midfielder’s suspension came last weekend when he grabbed Morgan Gibbs White’s neck with two hands in the game against Forest and as a result received a straight red card for violent conduct.

 Thus, there is still a large void that needs filling in the City midfield for the big clash with Arsenal on Sunday. Questions loom as to whether Pep will choose Phillips to fill this space left in Rodri’s absence, and if he does get the chance, he simply must perform, if not, it could well signal the beginning of the end. With this being a pivotal point in City’s season, Pep may well turn to the Yorkshireman to dig them out of a potential hole against the Gunners, who are hot on Man City’s tail. Rodri will of course be a huge loss for the biggest game of their season so far, especially since he has built a reputation for being a big game player for City.

Perhaps Phillips cannot cope with Pep’s demand for perfection, or does the English midfielder simply not suit the unique style of City’s play. One thing is for sure however, unless he starts getting more game time and performing at higher levels, it may be a good idea to part ways with the Manchester club. With Guardiola having a history for being cutthroat and ruthless when it comes to his players, Phillips may well be shown the door if he doesn’t start improving soon.


Written by Carrick Galbraith

Twitter - @carrickgalb123

Instagram - @carrick.426_

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