Kalvin Phillips rejuvenated after leaving Man City for West Ham

Kalvin Phillips rejuvenated after leaving Man City for West Ham

Kalvin Phillips expressed a revitalized sense of vigor since his loan move to West Ham, following a disheartening stint at Manchester City marred by critiques of his weight from Pep Guardiola.

The 28-year-old England midfielder joined Guardiola's side from Leeds in the summer of 2022 for £42million, but went on to make only six starts - clocking up just 380 minutes in the Premier League - before leaving in January.

Phillips was part of a squad that won the treble last term and followed up with the Club World Cup in December, but rarely got to contribute on the pitch.

Speaking to the Observer, Phillips said: "Over the last 18 months ¦ I still loved the game, it just changed my way of thinking a little bit. The game wasn't letting me down but the fact I had nothing to look forward to kind of pushed me away.

"Now I'm here at West Ham and playing, I feel a lot more alive. It's not starting from scratch, it's starting afresh."

After the 2022 World Cup, Guardiola had said Phillips reported back overweight. Phillips does not dispute the point, but said a misunderstanding as to when he was expected to report back had contributed to the issue.

"After the World Cup was probably the toughest, when Pep came out and said I was overweight," Phillips said. "He was right to do so but there are different ways to go about it.

"I did not disagree with him but obviously I took a big knock on my confidence and how I felt at City. And my family were not happy about it, either. Especially my mum¦

"It was just a misunderstanding and I think he was very frustrated with me coming back 1.5kg over my weight target."

Phillips insisted he had become a better player during his 18 months in Manchester, but admitted he struggled to deal with his lack of playing time.

"It wasn't a nightmare at City, it was just stressful," he said. "We won the treble. But when you're sat on the bench, you don't feel like it's your medal to take, although they can't take them away from me so I'm happy about that!"

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