With the departure of Fernandinho after the end of the recently concluded season, Manchester City wasted no time in signing Kalvin Phillips from Leeds United.
In the pre-season game for Man City against Club America, Guardiola tested Kalvin alongside Rodri in a double pivot midfield. Both Phillips and Rodri spoke at length about how they enjoyed playing alongside each other. Kalvin said:
“When I was younger I played more as an eight than what I did now. At the Euros it was new to me but I did reasonably well. Playing in midfield with Rodri, Kevin [De Bruyne], [Ilkay] Gundogan will only make me a better player. Just to understand the role and how the manager wants me to play and go from there.”
“Everything Marcelo [Bielsa] taught me was a lot of movement without the ball, creating space for yourself to get on the ball. At City it’s more moving into spaces to help your teammates get on the ball or getting in position to turn on the ball the first time and play forward all the time. It is just getting used to that. These training sessions will let me used to it a lot more.”
Rodri also agreed with Kalvin Phillips
Rodri commented on the same saying:
“It was a great chance for the club to sign that kind of player.”
“Of course, Fernandinho was one of the best but now he has gone and Kalvin is in. We are both pretty young and I think we can play together or alone. It’s good for the team to have competition and he has qualities that can improve the team.”
“Ask the coach [about the formation]. Sometimes with ‘Dinho last season I played a lot of games with him, many parts of the game you need that consistency. Sometimes you are winning and have to be a bit more solid defensively.”
“I remember last year, the game against Atletico. ‘Dinho came in, we played together and he saved us. I think there will be chances for us to play together. I think he can play a little forward also and it’s a good point – to have players who can play in different positions.”
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