According to a report from Mirror, Liverpool are contemplating a move for Kalvin Phillips, the Manchester City midfielder, as Fabinho nears a £40 million transfer to Saudi Arabia. Fabinho has been granted permission to undergo a medical and finalize the necessary formalities for the deal from Al-Ittihad. As a result, the 29-year-old has not accompanied Jurgen Klopp’s team for their pre-season training camp in Germany and is expected to join the Saudi Pro League side this summer.
In the interim, Liverpool have been actively searching for a replacement for the departing Fabinho. According to sources, Phillips is among the players the Reds have been considering as a potential option.
Phillips’ Disappointing Debut Season With Manchester City
During his debut season at the Etihad Stadium, Phillips struggled to secure a regular starting position in Pep Guardiola’s match-day squad, resulting in a sporadic role in the Premier League. Despite his talents from his time at Leeds United, he managed only 21 appearances for the Manchester club across various competitions.
Most of Phillips’ playing time came off the bench, which explains his relatively low averages of 0.5 tackles, 0.4 interceptions, and 0.7 clearances per game in Premier League football. Nonetheless, credit is due for his precise ball distribution, boasting an impressive 92.6% success rate on attempted passes in the English top-flight (statistics via whoscored).
His current contract at the Etihad Stadium is set to expire in the summer of 2028, indicating that Manchester City may not be in a hurry to sell him. Consequently, this could make it challenging for Liverpool to arrange a move for him in this off-season.
Should Guardiola Sanction His Exit?
Phillips, a resilient and tough-tackling midfielder, possesses excellent awareness to regain possession for his team in the midfield. He is not hesitant to clear danger when necessary and exhibits good passing abilities. While showcasing vision in setting up plays for his teammates in the opponent’s half, Phillips acknowledges the need to enhance his attacking impact to contribute further upfront.
However, Phillips has faced challenges during his tenure at Man City, encountering injuries and struggling to establish himself as a regular starter. This raises questions about whether he is currently the ideal fit for City.
Nevertheless, Phillips remains a highly talented player with significant potential. His proficiency in winning balls and distributing them and his ability to carry the ball forward could make him a valuable addition to Liverpool, a team keen on bolstering their midfield.
From a financial standpoint, a sale of Phillips could prove advantageous for City. They could recuperate a portion of the £42 million spent on him and reduce their wage expenses. However, finding a suitable replacement might be difficult and require more money, so Guardiola would be wise to hold on to him.