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Manchester City coaches realised now-Chelsea star was better than Kalvin Phillips almost immediately



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Kalvin Phillips’ Manchester City career got off to a very shaky start within his first few training sessions with the club, a new report has revealed this week.

The insight into the England international’s start to life at the Etihad Stadium after making a blockbuster move from Leeds United in 2022 comes in the same week as his time at the club looks set to come to an end.

Phillips is closing in on a six-month loan deal with West Ham United, as manager David Moyes looks set to offer the 28-year-old a much-needed lifeline to not only revive his top-level playing career, but also put him in with a chance of making the European Championships.

Kalvin Phillips has often seen his game time under Pep Guardiola restricted to dead-rubber contests and the early rounds of domestic cup matches, but it seems as though that lack of trust started right from the very off.

According to a new report from The Athletic, Manchester City coaches felt that now-Chelsea star Romeo Lavia was ‘more suited’ to playing the holding midfield role in Pep Guardiola’s side than Kalvin Phillips after just a few of his first training sessions with the club.

It is explained that Guardiola wanted the England international to slow the game down and take the ball off the goalkeeper, both while under pressure from the opposition – a phase of play Phillips could not do so consistently.

Romeo Lavia left Manchester City just days after Phillips had completed his move from Elland Road, joining Southampton on a five-year contract in a deal reported to be worth a total of around £14 million, with City retaining a £40 million buy-back clause and a 20% sell-on.

However, that opportunity to secure the player back in future was wiped just 12 months later, with Premier League rivals Chelsea beating Liverpool to his signature on a seven-year contract in a deal worth a reported £53 million plus add-ons.

It remains highly unlikely that Manchester City would look to bring Lavia back to the club from Chelsea in future, and amid a streak of concerning injuries for the player across his first six months at Stamford Bridge, Etihad bosses are more likely to look elsewhere.