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Kalvin Phillips Man City Move: An Expensive Second Choice Behind Rodri?

Manchester City didn’t stand still after securing the fourth Premier League title in five years, topping Liverpool in the race to the finish line. The biggest acquisition is Norwegian attacking sensation Erling Haaland.

After scoring 86 goals in 89 games for Borussia Dortmund, the son of the club’s legend, Alfie Haaland, inked a five-year contract with Manchester City. At the same time, current English champions let Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus to Arsenal, and there are intense talks between Chelsea and Raheem Sterling.


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insert image – https://pixabay.com/photos/soccer-europe-uefa-champions-league-2697766/

From Leeds United to Man City

With Brazilian Fernandhino probably leaving City, the Pep Guardiola team acquired Leeds United defensive midfielder and English national team player Kalvin Phillips.

The City had eyes on the homegrown prodigy throughout the season, but Philips wanted to help Leeds in its fight to avoid relegation. In addition, the transfer would be more affordable if Leeds didn’t remain in the Premier League. Philips would be available for 24 million pounds.

The price rose after securing top-flight status, and there were other suitors for Kelvin Philips, including Aston Villa and West Ham. These talks went nowhere, and Manchester City remained the only team in contention for Philips services. The player changed his representatives from Palm Sports to Stellar, who have a better relationship with the team from Etihad Stadium.

Finally, after the season, Manchester City signed Kalvin Philips to a six-year deal with a Β£42million fee for Leeds. Going to the top English team in recent years, after 235 appearances for Leeds, is a big deal for Philips.

Best odds for the Premiership title

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Does Kalvin Phillips’ arrival change the maths for the top spot in the Premier League? According to bookmakers, not so much. The lines didn’t change dramatically after the transfer window moved for the champions. So soccer bet providers still have City as the favourite to win yet another title, followed by Liverpool although as we all know, anything can happen.

Oddsmakers have Tottenham way behind Liverpool, and the north London side haven’t won the league since 1961. Still, Antonio Conte’s side got seriously better with the Perisic acquisition and a couple of other moves. Chelsea has fourth-best odds, despite losing Lukaku and changing ownership lately.

How does Kalvin Philips fit Manchester City?

The first hole City wanted to fill was striker, and Erling Haaland, a Norwegian goal-scoring machine, was a clear win for the current champions. The other issue was Fernandinho’s departure, who usually played as a Rodri backup or sidekick in the midfield.

Spanish international Rodri has been voted the crucial City player in the latest campaign and is an undisputed starter in the defensive midfield position. However, Kalvin Phillips could be an expensive backup to the Spaniard who holds the field for the City.

Rodri vs Philips

Rodri is the engine behind Pep Guardiola’s ruthless machine. The Spanish midfielder had 400 more passes in the opposition half than any other player in the league. Simultaneously, he recovered almost 600 balls, making him a crucial two-way player in his athletic prime.

Kalvin Philips doesn’t have the Rodri qualities yet, but on the other hand, he had more forward passes, more passes into the box, and more dribble attempts.

Why will the Philips transfer work?

Despite Rodri’s undisputed status in the first team for City, there are a couple of things going for Kalvin Philips. First, the English defensive midfielder comes from Argentinian manager Marcelo Bielsa. The coach had heartwarming talks with Guardiola at the end of his playing career and influenced him heavily on the path to the bench.

Both Bielsa and Guardiola have a similar playbook, and their teams try to play the same football. However, Pep Guardiola has much better personnel under his wing, so these similarities don’t pop up immediately.

Another favourable thing for Kalvin Philips is Guardiola’s coaching style. Catalan manager relies heavily on rotation, giving more than 900 minutes to 18 players in the past season. As a result, Philips will get his playing opportunities as a backup to Rodri or playing alongside the Spaniard.

Guardiola usually gets the best out of talented players, and City is investing a lot into Philips, which shows trust. If he becomes a backup player, the price for Rodri’s replacement is steep. On the other hand, if Guardiola fit the Philips into crowded City’s first 11, it could become his break-out season.

Manchester City spent the most money in this transfer window with Haaland and Philips signings. However, Leeds United already found a replacement for the home hero in American midfielder Tyler Adams that came from Red Bull Leipzig.

City starts its defence of their crown in an away game at West Ham. But, more than anything, the Etihad side will try to make the Champions League campaign more successful, the only thing missing from the incredibly successful Guardiola tenure on the bench.

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Ifiokobong Ibanga

Ifiokobong Ibanga is the founder of InfoGuideNIgeria.com. You can get in touch with him on Instagram @ifiokobong. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly send a message. Much Love!

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