Kalvin Philips and Declan Rice were an effective duo for England, but David Moyes claimed that West Ham missed out on Phillips in favor of Manchester City.
Not only did City prevail in the competition to get the Leeds midfielder, but according to Moyes, West Ham also made a higher bid for Phillips than what City eventually paid.
Phillips was acquired by City for £42 million, with an additional £3 million in add-ons raising the total transfer amount to £45 million. If Leeds had been demoted last season and a relegation release clause was triggered, he might have been available for even less.
However, after recovering £45 million for Gabriel Jesus and over £50 million for Raheem Sterling this summer, plus more than £25 million in academy sales, City would still believe that spending £42 million for an England international is smart business.
City would feel even better about their decision now that Moyes has stated that West Ham actually made a higher offer for Phillips in January. City used the extra six months and the fact that Phillips wanted to go with the Blues to negotiate a better contract.
Moyes told the Mail; “We bid more than that. We’re trying to be competitive with the big teams. If we can’t, we have to find another way of keeping up with them.”
Ahead of the first day of the new Premier League campaign, when City are expected to travel to West Ham, Moyes predicted how Erling Haaland would fit in at City, referring to retired Hammers legend Mark Noble’s remark that he’ll be sitting on a beach while his former teammates try to defend against Haaland.
“It feels as if we only played City two weeks ago. We went 2-0 up but drew 2-2. Here we go again,” Moyes said.
“The problem is Haaland has a team around him, 10 other players and one of the world’s best managers on the touchline. He’ll get over it quite quickly — being new to the English game — because he’s at a top football club.”
Kalvin Philips – West Ham or Man City?
West Ham United
Phillips is a superb player. He has amazing stamina, tackles so well, and is the epitome of an engine in the middle of the field.
When he is not playing, you can tell how crucial he is to Leeds. However, he is more than simply a diligent worker; in addition, he has Premier League experience and good passing and technical play.
The league’s top midfield pairing would be Phillips and Declan Rice.
As England reached the final at Euro 2020, they forged an incredible alliance. While Phillips was the more aggressive of the two, Rice maintained his defensive position to highlight his strengths off the ball.
Declan Rice must be kept by West Ham by all means, according to David Moyes, and if he does depart, the club would need to bring in another midfielder.
Hence, West Ham tried to bring in Phillips while hoping that Rice would stay beyond this summer. And thanks to City, that dream didn’t come to pass for Moyes as he is left to continue fighting for Rice to remain at West Ham.
In Pep Guardiola’s 4-3-3 formation, Phillips will face off against Rodri for the starting defensive midfield position. The Spaniard was one of City’s main contributors last season.
Rodri, who concluded the season with the most effective passes in the opposing half and the joint-most possessions won in the Premier League, set the pace for City’s play last year, underscoring his domination all over the field.
The difference in City’s victory percentage with and without the Spanish midfielder emphasizes how important he is to the team. When Rodri is absent from the field, Guardiola’s team’s win percentage drastically decreases, and they also score much less goals.
When City and Leeds met for the first time in October 2020, the two sides played out an Elland Road thriller, and Guardiola witnessed just what Phillips can bring to the table.
Phillips was one of the standout players on the field under Marcelo Bielsa, who had a significant impact on Pep Guardiola’s managerial style. Phillips claimed possession more frequently than any other player on the field, and only Rodri took the ball away from opponents more frequently in the middle third.
Even though David Moyes is a talented manager, his plans might not work out in Philip’s favor. However, Philips has every chance of becoming one of the top midfielders in the Premier League while also adding more trophies to his resume for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.