- Phillips, 28, has passed his medical and is poised to join West Ham on loan
- England international struggled to win over Pep Guardiola to play at Man City
- CHRIS SUTTON: Why are clubs not signing players? This transfer window needs to liven up! It’s All Kicking Off
Kalvin Phillips ‘was never considered good enough to play for Manchester City’ with Pep Guardiola and his coaching staff ‘having concerns’ immediately after his £45million move from Leeds.
The England midfielder, 28, completed a medical on Thursday ahead of a loan move to West Ham he hopes will resurrect his career after limited opportunities at the Etihad.
Phillips played just 593 minutes of football during this debut campaign with City, starting only four matches as he watched their Treble triumph mostly from the subs bench.
Matters have not improved this term, with Phillips not starting a single Premier League game.
The Athletic have reported that as soon as Phillips linked up with City for pre-season training in 2022, Guardiola and his staff worried he wasn’t up to the task of being their holding midfielder.
Kalvin Phillips is close to escaping his Manchester City misery as he joins West Ham on loan
Pep Guardiola reportedly realised very quickly that Phillips wouldn’t fit into his midfield
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Phillips had been a key player for Leeds and was an established England international but apparently didn’t grasp the intricate nature of what Guardiola required of him.
The report says that essentially Phillips wasn’t regarded as good enough to play for a highly-tuned City side that would sweep the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League last season.
It was quickly acknowledged that Romeo Lavia, the Belgian midfielder sold to Southampton for £10.5m around the same time as Phillips’ arrival and now with Chelsea, was a better fit.
Guardiola has expressed remorse for derailing Phillips’ career, saying earlier this month: ‘I feel so sorry for my decision for him. I’ve said that many times.
‘He doesn’t deserve what has happened to him and I’m so sorry.’
The City boss added: ‘I visualise the team and I struggle to see him.’
Phillips suffered an early setback when a recurring shoulder injury required surgery and kept him sidelined until the World Cup in Qatar.
But he returned to City overweight and was criticised by Guardiola in public, with the City boss a stickler for such things.
Phillips has struggled to get into Pep Guardiola’s team since arriving from Leeds for £42m
Phillips will be waving goodbye to the Etihad this month and West Ham could buy him outright
West Ham boss David Moyes believes he can get the best out of Phillips at the London Stadium
Phillips was regarded as a professional, however, with Guardiola also describing him as the ‘perfect example’ of a ‘good personality and character.’
With a view to featuring for England at Euro 2024, Phillips will hope for regular game time under David Moyes after the Hammers beat Crystal Palace and Newcastle, plus a host of European clubs, to a loan deal.
There will be an option for Phillips to move to the London Stadium permanently, cutting short a City contract that runs until 2028.