Pep Guardiola has admitted his failure to maximize Kalvin Phillips’ potential after signing him from Leeds United in 2022. Despite a £45m fee, Phillips will make only his fifth start for City against Newcastle in the EFL Cup on Wednesday.
Guardiola stated, “Marcelo [Bielsa] brought out the best in Kalvin during his career.” Phillips became an England international under Bielsa’s guidance and played a vital role as Leeds returned to the Premier League and reached the Euro 2020 final.
Guardiola expressed his desire to replicate Bielsa’s influence on Phillips but acknowledged differences in playing styles. Phillips’ limited playing time is more noticeable because two of his last four starts occurred after City secured their third consecutive Premier League title.
However, with Rodri, another holding midfielder, suspended for three games, Phillips now has an opportunity to contribute. He chose to stay at the club despite limited minutes, emphasizing his quality and eagerness to learn and help the team.