Kalvin Phillips transfer to Arsenal: Talk surfaces after stationary summer

Previously, any stories about a Kalvin Phillips transfer to Arsenal have been overshadowed by talk of the midfielder moving to other clubs.

Phillips, who only joined Premier League champions Manchester City a year ago, has failed to impress Pep Guardiola. In turn, he has duly struggled for minutes throughout his time at the Etihad Stadium. But after being linked to West Ham and Liverpool in the summer, it is Arsenal who are now reportedly the front runners for his signature.

Kalvin Phillips made a substitute appearance against Wolves, but couldn't prevent the champions' demise. (Photo by Mike Jones/News Images/Sipa USA) – Photo by Icon sport

The Phillips saga continues…

Guardiola was reportedly willing to allow Phillips to leave the club this summer. But Phillips chose to stay put in a bid to prove the doubters. There was plenty of interest from West Ham after they sold Declan Rice to Arsenal but a move never materialised and they instead purchased James Ward-Prowse and Edson Alvarez to fill Rice-shaped void in midfield.

Now, just a few months later, Arsenal have made Phillips one of their top midfield targets ahead of the January transfer window. According to Fichajes, Mikel Arteta believes that Phillips would provide his midfield with a new dynamic in what will be a crucial part of the season.

The Spanish coach reportedly believes that Phillips is a versatile midfielder who can occupy a couple of different positions in the middle of the park. It is believed that Arsenal will be forced into the transfer market in January for a midfielder due to Thomas Partey's anticipated involvement at the African Cup of Nations.

Would a Kalvin Phillips transfer to Arsenal really work?

Partey's involvement in the African Cup of Nations after Christmas is undoubtedly something Arteta could do without, especially as the club already look a little short in the middle of the park.

Although Declan Rice has started the season impressively, he was forced off at half time in the recent North London derby with a back injury. Although the Englishman returned for the win against Bournemouth on Saturday, his back problems are becoming a slight concern

Additionally, Mohamed Elneny is out with a long-term problem and Jorginho is starting to look very much like someone whose best years are behind them. Further up the field, Kai Havertz was signed from Chelsea in the summer to play as a number eight, but things haven't started well for the German in a red shirt.

The signing of Phillips would provide Arteta with another body in midfield, and one who has documented experience of playing alongside Declan Rice. The pair have complemented each other well in the past when playing for England. For that reason, the idea of them continuing their partnership at club level is also sure to excite England boss, Gareth Southgate.

kalvin phillips transfer
Could Rice and Phillips be reunited at club level? Photo by Icon sport

Phillips to end his City misery

Despite signing him for £45m last year, Pep Guardiola has clearly never fully trusted Kalvin Phillips. He has only ever started two Premier League games for City and they both came after the title was already secured at the back end of last season.

The ex-Leeds man has rarely even been trusted off the bench in important moments, and it's best for all involved if he calls his City career a day this winter. Rodri is an ever-present in Guardiola's starting XI when available, and despite the Spaniard currently being suspended, Phillips still didn't get the nod to start City's most recent Premier League match against Wolves.

And while the prospect of an Arsenal move makes sense in a number of ways, current odds show that at least five other teams – Liverpool, Fulham, Wolves, Brighton and even Bayern Munich – are still genuine contenders to be Phillips' next club. That surely makes for a fascinating tale of twists and turns over the coming months.

Andy is a freelance Sports Journalist with ten years of experience covering football in the United Kingdom and abroad for various publications including the Manchester Evening News, UtdReport and Football Whispers. Andy also has a keen interest in basketball, cricket, golf and tennis and has covered major sporting events such as the Masters in Augusta.