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Sabtu, 24 Desember 2022

Kalvin Phillips left out of Manchester City squad because he was ‘overweight’


Kalvin Phillips plays for England against Senegal at the Qatar World Cup in early December.

Pep Guardiola has said he left out Kalvin Phillips from Thursday’s Carabao Cup win over Liverpool because the player was “overweight” and added that he will speak to the midfielder privately.

After being part of England’s World Cup squad the 27-year-old was given time off but when he returned to City was not in the condition to train, according to the manager. Phillips’s fellow England squad members in Qatar – Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and John Stones – all featured against Liverpool while Kyle Walker was an unused sub, but the former Leeds midfielder did not even make the matchday squad.

“He’s not injured,” Guardiola said. “He arrived overweight. I don’t know [why]. He didn’t arrive in the condition to do training sessions and to play.” When asked if this was a surprise as Phillips had been with England and the national team’s department of nutritionists which should have ensured he was kept in optimum shape, the manager said: “Absolutely [this should be the case]. That’s why he cannot play. When he will be ready, he will play, because we need him, we need him a lot.”

Guardiola would not be drawn on whether he was disappointed with Phillips being out of shape, just saying that “it’s a private conversation with Kalvin”.

It is the latest setback for Phillips at City after he signed from Leeds United in the summer for an initial £42m on a six-year contract. After making three substitute appearances in August and September, a recurrence of a shoulder problem he suffered at Leeds forced him to have surgery and he was subsequently ruled out for two months.

Phillips made only one further City appearance – as a 50th-minute replacement in November’s 2-0 Carabao Cup win over Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium – before Gareth Southgate selected him in the 26-man England squad for Qatar 2022. There he played twice, in the 3-0 group win over Wales and 3-0 last-16 win over Senegal.

City’s next match is Wednesday’s trip to Leeds but whether he will be available for selection to face his former club is unclear. City then host Everton on New Year’s Eve before playing Chelsea twice in succession – at Stamford Bridge on 5 January in the league and three days later at home in the FA Cup.


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