Pep Guardiola reveals Kalvin Phillips Man City plan and Marcelo Bielsa’s prediction at Leeds

The Manchester City manager said his summer signing will have a big role to play in September.

Pep Guardiola has hinted Kalvin Phillips won’t be heavily involved in the Manchester City team for a few weeks.

The midfielder, who joined from Leeds United this summer, has played just one minute across the club’s first three games of the season.

Phillips missed last weekend’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth through injury, but Guardiola revealed on Friday that he will be available for the trip to Newcastle United on Sunday.

Despite that, the City manager explained the England international has a ‘little disturbance’ and is behind Rodri at present in the pecking order. Guardiola also seemed to imply Phillips will play a more significant role in the team next month when the Blues have two games a week.

“We don’t have doubts. He’s an England player and made incredible improvements as a player sicn working with Marcelo Bielsa,” Guardiola said, when asked about his reasons for signing Phillips.

Phillips hasn’t started a game since signing for City this summer. Credit: Getty.

“He’s British, which helps a lot in the Premier League. Last season he had injuries and we have to be careful right now because the little disturbance that he had right now we try to avoid in the future and he’s going to adapt.

“He has to know some things we are doing and Rodri right now is a step ahead of him in the position but from September there is a game every three days and we will need him and he will prove his value.

“We know he is an exceptional person that helps a lot. He has settled perfectly. We knew Kyle [Walker] and John [Stones] and Phil [Foden] for the English national team players and he settled perfectly and so quick.”

Bielsa’s prediction

Guardiola also revealed in Friday’s press conference that he had spoken to Marcelo Bielsa about Phillips during his time at Leeds.

Under the Argentinian manager, Phillips developed as a midfielder, gained promotion to the Premier League and became an England international.

Guardiola revealed he and Bielsa have discussed Phillips in the past. Credit: Getty.

While Guardiola explained he never discussed the prospect of Phillips joining City with Bielsa, he claimed the former Leeds manager predicted several years ago that the midfielder would one day make the step up to a play for a top side.

“He spoke about him three or four years ago in the first or second season [Bielsa was a Leeds]. It was in the Championship and it was the first time I realised Kalvin Phillips played for Leeds.

“He spoke with me and said he was a guy who is really good, maybe not for now for Man City but he can play in a top team maybe one day. After, he proved Marcelo was not wrong and he was promoted in the Premier League, played for the national team and that is to his credit.

“After Fernandinho decided to go to Brazil, we were looking for a holding midfielder and we thought he was perfect for us.”