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Hammers move can help Phillips nail down England spot
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Dan Fitch
Kalvin Phillips is heading to West Ham
Kalvin Phillips is heading to West Ham

Kalvin Phillips is moving from a coach that never seemed to rate him, to one at West Ham who clearly does. 

The 28-year-old struggled to get opportunities at Manchester City with Pep Guardiola. 

Now the England international is looking to rebuild his career under his long-term admirer David Moyes. 

After the midfielder's loan move was officially confirmed, we examine how Phillips will fit in at the London Stadium.

Manager praise

This deal does not represent a moment of short-term opportunism from West Ham, who have tracked Phillips for some time. 

The Hammers lodged a reported £50million bid for him in January 2022, some six months before he joined City for £45m. 

Moyes also publicly praised the midfielder back in 2021, when the Irons took on Phillips' boyhood club Leeds. 

He said: "I'm a big admirer of Kalvin Phillips and have been for a long time. 

"Every time I went to watch Leeds, and when I was out of work and they won the Championship, I was always thinking he looked a really influential player and a real prospect." 

Moyes finally has his man. Phillips arrives with West Ham's squad needing some reinforcement, following a number of injuries and international call-ups. 

Speaking ahead of the move, City boss Guardiola stressed his desire for the out-of-favour star to shine in the capital.

He said: "It is six months and hopefully he gets the minutes he deserves that I have not been able to give him. [He is an] exceptional human being." 

New midfield

Kalvin Phillips has been a peripheral figure for Manchester City this season
Kalvin Phillips has been a peripheral figure for Manchester City this season

A recent injury to Edson Alverez has had a particular impact on the West Ham midfield. 

The Mexican has been out with a calf problem and the Hammers have missed his ability to control games and the defensive solidity that he provides. 

James Ward-Prowse and Tomas Soucek were the midfielders in Moyes' 4-2-3-1 formation in the 2-2 draw at Sheffield United last Sunday, with Danny Ings operating as a No10. 

Phillips gives West Ham cover and competition for Alvarez, though it looks likely they will ultimately line up alongside each other. 

As a pair, they would provide the mid-table outfit with a very dependable engine room, allowing Ward-Prowse to be pushed further up the pitch. 

Phillips could be drafted straight into the team to face Bournemouth in the Premier League next Thursday. 

Alvarez may also be in contention, having returned to training this week. 

England hopes

Gareth Southgate has kept faith with Kalvin Phillips
Gareth Southgate has kept faith with Kalvin Phillips

Few people will be watching Phillips' early weeks at West Ham with more interest than Gareth Southgate. 

Back in November, the England manager warned of a need of game time, while also offering encouragement to the defensive midfielder. 

Southgate said: "He needs to play and is a really important player for us. 

"We don't have many players who can operate the way he can. We have faith and trust in him." 

Phillips had the chance to leave City last summer but chose to stay and fight for his place. 

That always seemed an uphill task, as he sought to oust Rodri from the team and convince a sceptical Guardiola. 

In Moyes, he has a manager invested in his talents, whose setup should suit his mix of defensive strength and long-range passing ability. 

Phillips has left it late but it looks like he finally has the platform he needs to book his spot at Euro 2024.


West Ham UnitedManchester CityPremier LeagueKalvin Phillips
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