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Kalvin Phillips: Man City midfielder enduring ‘very difficult’ time but form ‘will turn’ at West Ham

Kalvin Phillips is enduring a “very difficult” time after leaving Manchester City on loan, West Ham team-mate Tomas Soucek says.

Midfielder Phillips had been hopeful of rediscovering his best form at the Hammers, having fallen out of favour at City after 31 appearances in 18 months since a £45 million transfer from Leeds United.

The midfielder, who wants to be part of England’s squad for Uefa Euro 2024 in June, gifted Bournemouth’s Dominic Solanke a goal on his London Stadium debut in January and was substituted at half-time with his side 2-0 behind against visitors Burnley on Sunday.

“I see him perform in sessions every day,” said Soucek. “It’s very difficult for him after his time at Manchester City.

“For every player who has not played [for some] time… it’s difficult for him but we all support him.”

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Phillips and playmaker James Ward-Prowse were replaced by Michail Antonio and Edson Alvarez against the Clarets, with manager David Moyes’ substitutions making an impact as West Ham recovered to draw 2-2.

“Kalvin Philips needs to keep his head down and keep working,” Moyes said, speaking before the second leg of West Ham’s Uefa Europa League round of 16 tie at home to Freiburg on Thursday, when they will start with a 1-0 deficit. “Things will turn for him, I have no doubt.”

Kalvin Phillips ‘will be important’

City manager Pep Guardiola apologised to Phillips in December for rarely playing him and said sorry again in February for remarks he made about the 28-year-old’s weight following his return from the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

The Leeds academy graduate is yet to complete 90 minutes in a Premier League game this season and has played for more than 45 minutes in two of his 10 top-flight appearances, both of which came for West Ham.

“We are with him,” said Soucek. “He’s a really hard worker. I like his style and wish all the best for the future because he’ll be an important player for us. I see him in training and he is a good player.”

West Ham are seventh with 10 games of their domestic campaign remaining and host fourth-placed Aston Villa on Sunday.

Moyes’ side have lost four, drawn two and won one of the seven matches Phillips has been involved in.


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