Paul Merson doubts Kalvin Phillips will leave Man City this summer - Manchester City News
Paul Merson doubts Kalvin Phillips will leave Man City this summer
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Paul Merson doubts Kalvin Phillips will leave Man City this summer

Paul Merson believes Manchester City will not offload Kalvin Phillips this summer.

It has been a tough first campaign for the England international following his £45 million move from Leeds United.

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Minutes have been very hard to come by for the midfielder.

He has played just 20 games for City across all competitions, for a total of 503 minutes.

Few City fans would have thought he’d feature quite so little when he was signed. Everyone knew that Rodri was Pep Guardiola’s main man and that he would probably play the bulk of the games.

But Guardiola has relied on Rodri at pretty much every turn this season.

He has been phenomenal. But it has definitely been a surprise to see him play so much.

It can sometimes be difficult for new players coming to City to hit the ground running. Obviously Erling Haaland has done that as a world-class player.

But there have been plenty of other players who have struggled in their first seasons. John Stones, Riyad Mahrez and Joao Cancelo spring to mind.

The lack of game time for Phillips has led to some speculation about an exit after just one season. Both Liverpool and Newcastle United have been linked.

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But in the eyes of Paul Merson, Phillips won’t leave this summer. He said (via Sportskeeda): “Kalvin Phillips is a player who has barely featured this season and there have been reports that he could be offloaded this summer, but I doubt that will be the case. If you look at the likes of Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling at Manchester City over the years, they’ve all taken a year to adapt.”

As well as Phillips, Ilkay Gundogan has also been linked with an exit. It has been claimed that City have offered him a longer contract than at first. But there’s potential for him to depart.

And if that happens, Merson can see Phillips getting more minutes at the Etihad.

“With Ilkay Gundogan reportedly on his way out of the club, Phillips could get his chance next season,” he added. “So I think he gets another year to show everyone what he’s capable of.

Guardiola recently challenged Phillips to show he can have a future at the Etihad.

Kalvin Phillips’ lack of minutes has been a real surprise – his situation at Manchester City will be very interesting this summer

It remains to be see if Phillips will be donning a different shirt next season.

You would like to hope that there is a route to success for him at City. He was absolutely fantastic at Leeds, after all.

But it just hasn’t happened for him, with Pep Guardiola seemingly not convinced.

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It is just strange how little he’s featured. It’s almost to the point where it feels as though Guardiola thinks his transfer was a mistake.

So his situation will be interesting to watch this summer.

But hopefully, Merson’s prediction rings true and he stays and is able to turn the corner at the Etihad. He seems like a good lad and obviously he’s a good player.

Director of football Txiki Begiristain said at the time of Phillips’ signing that his’ ‘reading of the game, alongside his passing ability, energy and drive make him a formidable talent’. It would be great to see these traits more often next term.

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