‘Overweight’ Kalvin Phillips warned over Manchester City return by Pep Guardiola

The England midfielder was omitted from the City squad for the 3-2 win over Liverpool with his manager uncertain when he will return

Richard Jolly
Senior Football Correspondent
Saturday 24 December 2022 08:24 GMT
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Pep Guardiola has revealed he dropped Kalvin Phillips because the midfielder came back from the World Cup overweight and has told him he will not play for Manchester City again until he is in the correct shape.

The 27-year-old was a notable absentee from City’s 3-2 Carabao Cup win over Liverpool when Guardiola named other members of England’s World Cup squad – John Stones, Kyle Walker, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden – on the bench and brought three of them on.

And Guardiola has said the summer signing was not in the right condition to play as he told him to lose weight.

“He’s not injured,” he said. “He arrived overweight. I don’t know [why]. He didn’t arrive in the condition to do training sessions and to play.”

Phillips was due to return to Elland Road on Wednesday for his first game against Leeds since his £42 million move to City but Guardiola is adamant he will only pick him when he has shed the excess pounds.

“That’s why he cannot play,” he added. “When he will be ready, he will play, because we need him, we need him a lot.”

Phillips is yet to start a game in an injury-hit spell at City, making four appearances as a replacement and spending eight weeks on the sidelines after shoulder surgery.

The 27-year-old made two substitute appearances in the World Cup, playing 32 minutes against Wales and then eight against Senegal.

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