FOOTBALL

Is Kalvin Phillips good enough to fill the shoes of ‘best holding midfielder in Europe?’

Manchester City

Does Kalvin Phillips has the potential to replace Rodri and provide a cover for ‘best holding midfielder in Europe?’. Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola does not point fingers at players but this time it was different. He was furious with midfielder Rodri for getting sent off in a 2-0 victory against Nottingham Forest. The Spanish manager said,

Hopefully Rodri will learn. He had to control himself and his emotions. I can get a yellow card, but Rodri can’t,” said the manager. “Whatever happens, you have to control yourself. I am angry, because I don’t like playing with 10 men. I said to the players at half-time to be careful because of what had happened in the last 10 minutes [of the first half], but we fell into the trap.”

While City have a squad loaded with talent, particularly in midfield. Still there is no one in the squad who can provide what Rodri does. However, Kalvin Phillips has started just five matches since joining the Sky Blues in 2022. Moreover, three of them resulted in a defeat. Kalvin’s lack of minutes was all the more surprising given Pep had spoken about the rest for Rodri.

He has to fight with Rodri, for the benefit of all of us,” the coach said in January. “Rodri cannot sleep and must have the feeling there is someone close to him to do it. He has to.”

Manchester City’s exit from the Carabao Cup means that Kalvin may not get many more opportunities to start. Though, he may get a chance to prove himself in the next three fixtures following the ban on Spanish midfielder. For all his determination, this might be his big chance and maybe the last too.

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