Manchester City midfielder has Liverpool’s eye

18 July 2023 - 11:30 pm

Liverpool are considering a move for Manchester City midfielder Calvin Phillips, with Fabinho close to a £40m move to Saudi Arabia, according to the Mirror. Fabinho has received permission from the Ittihad to undergo a medical examination and complete the formalities required for the transaction. As a result, the 29-year-old did not attend pre-season training camp with Klopp’s team in Germany and is expected to join the Saudi Pro League side this summer.

During this period, Liverpool have been actively looking for a replacement for Fabinho. According to sources, Phillips is one of the potential options the Reds have been considering.

Phillips’ first season at Manchester City disappoints

During his debut season at the Etihad Stadium, Phillips struggled to secure a regular starting spot in Guardiola’s playing squad, resulting in an intermittent role in the Premier League. Despite his solid form at Leeds United, he made just 21 appearances in all competitions for the Manchester club.

Phillips has spent most of his game time as a substitute, which explains his relatively low averages of 0.5 tackles, 0.4 interceptions and 0.7 clearances per game in the Premier League. Still, his precision on the ball is commendable, with a pass success rate of 92.6% in England’s top flight (stats from whoscored).

His current contract at the Etihad Stadium expires in the summer of 2028, suggesting City may be in no rush to sell him. As such, it could make it challenging for Liverpool to secure a move for him this off-season.

Should Guardiola approve his exit?

Phillips is a tough and tenacious midfielder with an excellent awareness of regaining possession in midfield. He doesn’t hesitate to clear hazards when necessary and shows good passing ability. While displaying the vision to run the offense for his teammates in the opposing half, Phillips also acknowledged the need to increase his attacking influence in order to contribute more up front.

However, Phillips faced challenges during his tenure at City, dealing with injuries and struggling to establish himself as a regular starter. It has raised questions about his suitability for City at the moment.

Still, Phillips is a talented player with huge potential. His proficiency in winning and distributing the ball and his ability to carry the ball forward could make him a valuable addition to a Liverpool side keen to strengthen their midfield.

From a financial point of view, selling Phillips could be beneficial for City. They could recoup some of the £42m they spent on him and reduce wage bills. However, finding a suitable replacement could be difficult and require more money, so Guardiola would be wise to keep him.