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West Ham eyeing swoop for Man City’s Kalvin Phillips

West Ham United have distinguished one of the Premier League’s most industrious presences to replace a likely outgoing phenom…

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Signing for Manchester City from boyhood club Leeds United last summer, Kalvin Phillips has been hampered by injury during his stay with the Sky Blues, and has been at the epicentre of claims that boss Pep Guardiola branded him “overweight” upon returning from World Cup duty with England.

And now, Football Insider state that sources have confirmed the Hammers’ interest; with coveted midfielder Declan Rice likely to depart at the end of the campaign, the 27-year-old Cityzen could be the player to adopt the role his compatriot has held so well in east London.

Phillips arrived at the Etihad Stadium in a £45m deal last year, and he would certainly not come cheap even if City were prepared to grant a departure, but the funds garnered from Rice’s prospective sale would free up space to make a move for someone of his ilk.

Perfect Rice replacement 

Since rising through the youth ranks at the Irons academy, Rice has cruised towards Premier League eminence, and is now being touted for a move to one of the country’s top outfits.

Indeed, with the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United among the clubs that might make a swoop for a player out of contract at the end of next season and showing no sign of agreeing a new deal, cashing in for a lucrative fee might be the best option for West Ham boss David Moyes.

In Phillips, the veteran Scottish manager would boast a robust and all-encompassing central figure to take the baton from Rice, and ensure that the stability and charge that his counterpart has created does not waver.

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Granted, the east London outfit have been beset with a stark decline this term, miserably above the drop-zone on just goal difference following two European-clinching seasons in-and-amongst the elite of the Premier League, but the abundance of quality and affluence underpinning the efforts on the pitch should steer the club in the right direction once again.

As per FBref, Rice ranks within the top 4% for pass completion and the top 7% for interceptions when compared to positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues over the last year, while Phillips, despite lacking the same level of ball-playing assurance, ranks within the top 1% of players for tackles, the top 14% for interceptions and the top 4% for blocks.

There is a clear prowess in the anchored position of the pitch, also flourishing as a pivot when called upon, instigating positive transitions by timing challenges with pinpoint precision.

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West Ham United manager David Moyes before the match

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And with Phillips’ City career thus far blighted by injury, Sofascore record his rating in the Premier League last year at a solid 6.84, earning the transfer to the division’s champions by displaying his stellar consistency in a Leeds team that battled to stave off relegation last term.

Hailed as a “destroyer” by ex-England manager Steve McClaren, who waxed lyrical about the ace to Sky Sports News (via Leeds Live), Phillips might be wise to depart from Guardiola’s City, where he will likely struggle for consistent game-time, and flourish with the Hammers, who can return on course and challenge for Europe once again with a Rice replacement every bit as formidable as their current gem.