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Pep Guardiola sends message to Manchester City loanee following disappointing England squad omission



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has urged Kalvin Phillips to return to Gareth Southgate’s England squad in the future.

The 28-year-old was omitted from Gareth Southgate’s England squad for upcoming friendlies against both Brazil and Belgium later this month, despite quitting Manchester City in January for West Ham United in hope of securing his place with the Three Lions.

Phillips, who went to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in December 2022, has ambitions of being selected for the European Championships in Germany this summer, with England one of the favourites for the tournament.

The midfielder swapped the Etihad Stadium for the London Stadium for the remainder of the campaign in January, where Phillips has made seven appearances for David Moyes’ side across the Premier League and UEFA Europa League.

The Englishman featured for the Hammers during their Europa League last-16 win on Thursday evening, just hours after Southgate revealed that the 28-year-old wouldn’t be included in his squad for the March internationals.

Phillips made just six starts over 18 months for Manchester City, and didn’t make his full Sky Blues debut in the Premier League until a 1-0 win over Chelsea last May.

The midfielder scored during a 2-3 UEFA Champions League win over Red Star Belgrade in December, and was part of Guardiola’s treble-winning squad last season.

Phillips moved to Manchester City from Leeds United for £42 million in 2022, and despite a difficult two years, Guardiola believes that the midfielder could still play for England in the future.

“I believe Kalvin Phillips will get back into the England squad, he’s a good man,” said Guardiola.

“He’s an exceptional guy and he needs the minutes that he didn’t get here, and he’s trying to have [the minutes] in London.”

Southgate issued a much more blunt response regarding his omission, saying: “Unfortunately, his form just hasn’t been good enough. I’ve spoken to him, he knows that. I said to him towards the end of last year, if he didn’t play at City, it was going to be a problem.”