Manchester City Agrees Deal to Sign Kalvin Phillips
Kalvin Phillips will be joining Manchester City after an agreement have been made for the Leeds United midfielder. The
deal has yet to be officially completed as Phillips still needs to agree personal terms and pass a medical. The 26-year-old will look to fill the void left by Fernandinho at City, who revealed he will be leaving the club this summer after nine years with the club.
What Kalvin Phillips will do in City
Skysport analyses what is expected for the Midfielder and also his competition with Man City’s midfielder Rodri.
Phillips is to compete alongside Rodri for the defensive midfield starting spot in Pep Guardiola’s 4-3-3 formation, with the Spaniard one of City’s key players last season.
Last season, City’s tempo was dictated through Rodri, who finished the campaign with the most successful passes in the opposition half and the joint-most possessions won in the Premier League last season – underlying his dominance all over the pitch. His importance to City is underlined by their win percentage with and without the Spanish midfielder. That win rate for Guardiola’s side drops massively when Rodri is not on the pitch, while City also score fewer goals when their midfielder is missing.
How Big will Kalvin Phillips be at City
Here lies the question: why would Phillips leave club legend status at Leeds to move to City, where they have a world-class midfielder in his position, who at 26 is playing in his prime years?
The first – and simpler – answer to that question is City need depth in that position given Fernandinho has now left his role as Rodri’s understudy. Given the fact that the former City captain still played 33 times last season – the majority of those in that defensive midfield role – then Phillips would still have a big role in Guardiola’s set up.
Phillips Versus Rodri
Furthermore, a close analysis of Rodri’s game shows that ever since he arrived at the Etihad Stadium in 2019, the Spaniard needs another similar figure to relieve the burden on him in that defensive midfield role. Statistics show that when Rodri is at his most careless in possession, City do not win.
In the six Premier League games where Rodri has lost the ball 15 or more times. Guardiola’s side have won just once. And that was a 1-0 win at Everton last March when the Spaniard arguably should have conceded a penalty after being too lackadaisical on the ball. In his two Premier League seasons, Phillips has shown to be just as efficient compared to Rodri. His tackling, interception and turnover numbers over the past two seasons are higher than the Man City player.
Phillips Style of Play
But what is intriguing is how Kalvin Phillips is more positive. And comfortable on the ball from a statistical point of view compared to Rodri. Even though Leeds do not control games in the same way City do. Phillips takes players on more often than the Spaniard. Who has an inferior forward passing percentage compared to the Leeds midfielder.
Meanwhile, should Phillips move to the Etihad Stadium this summer. Then City would have the best two best players at ball recoveries in their squad. Also, both vying for the same position. Last season, Phillips made 12.87 recoveries per 1000 opposition touches. Second only to Rodri with 17.01 and better than the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold. Also Joao Cancelo and Declan Rice – who excelled in this department last term.
It means that should Guardiola want to give Rodri a break is enduring a rare off day for City. Then they could call on a ready-made replacement in Phillips who is just as positive and comfortable on the ball. Also as well as efficient in defence.