28-year-old admits that he started to feel a bit ‘useless’ at Manchester City
Kalvin Phillips has opened up on why he he felt he had to leave Manchester City in the January transfer window.
It was a typically quiet start to the new year on the transfer front for City, with the only immediately significant move in either direction being the defensive midfielder’s exit.
Phillips has joined West Ham United on loan for the rest of the season after a difficult 18 months at the Etihad following his switch from Leeds United.
The 28-year-old hardly featured in City’s treble triumph but decided to stay and fight for his place in the summer when an even earlier departure was on the cards.
Yet, Phillips’ minutes have not improved and he couldn’t even get in the side when Rodri was suspended.
Kalvin Phillips of West Ham.
Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images
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Kalvin Phillips discusses his Manchester City departure
Phillips has admitted he had to leave to start enjoying football again. “It’s obviously a massive decision for me and my family, but I think it was a decision that I needed to make because I wasn’t getting much game time,” he told his new club’s Official Programme for the weekend’s match against Arsenal.
“The one thing that I wanted when I left Man City in January was to be back playing and to be enjoying myself playing football as well. When you don’t play football for so long, you kind of feel a little bit useless because you’ve not been doing anything.
“So, for me, it was just more coming to a good club with good fans and just enjoying my football again.
“I was very sad when I knew that my next step had to be to move on, but I got over that quite quickly and was just more excited than anything to get down here and see the place and see how London is, which is very busy. I was very excited to get going.”
Finally the right decision
It was a brave decision at the time but it ultimately proved to be a futile one. Phillips could have left City in the summer and been playing all season, rather than now trying to shake the ring rust off when the campaign is in full flow.
Yet, before the transfer window had really got going, he closed down any talk of an exit by making it clear he wanted to stay at City and fight for his place in the side.
Professional footballers have to back themselves and, in fairness, leaving a club that has just won the treble must be hard.
Yet, it was already abundantly clear Pep Guardiola did not consider Phillips to be good enough and that became crystallised when the manager played everyone else he could in the holding position instead of Phillips when Rodri was suspended.
It’s long overdue, but Phillips has finally made the right decision for his career.