Moyes could save West Ham’s midfield in surprise summer swoop

According to the Evening Standard, West Ham United is actively monitoring the 27-year-old midfielder, who has been sidelined and is considered a potential replacement for Declan Rice if he departs this summer, as expected, writes the FFC.

The report states that the Hammers are aiming to receive approximately £100 million for their club captain, and the funds could be reinvested in acquiring Kalvin Phillips. David Moyes has allegedly expressed his desire to target players with a proven track record in the Premier League, a quality that the midfielder, who earns £150,000 per week, possesses in abundance.

Since his £45 million transfer to the Etihad Stadium, Phillips’ time at Manchester City has been underwhelming. Hindered by injuries and inconsistency throughout the season, the 5-foot-10 defensive midfielder has only played 290 minutes in the Premier League, starting in just four matches across all competitions.

Surprisingly, Phillips was still called up for the 2022 World Cup. However, Pep Guardiola voiced his concerns, stating that the player was “overweight” and did not arrive in a condition suitable for training and playing upon his return. However, despite a troubled year, the exceptional performances displayed during his remarkable eight-year spell with Leeds United cannot be overlooked.

Following their promotion in 2020, the midfielder became an integral part of Marcelo Bielsa’s team, which achieved an impressive ninth-place finish in their first season back in the top flight. He played a crucial role in the defensive efforts, ranking among the top 12% of players in Europe’s top five leagues in tackles, interceptions, blocks, and clearances per 90 minutes, as reported by FBref.

Additionally, he made significant contributions to England’s Euro 2020 campaign, featuring in every game as Gareth Southgate’s side narrowly lost the final to Italy. His outstanding performances at the tournament earned praise from Barcelona legend Xavi, who described the 26-cap international as “superb.” Furthermore, he was named England’s 2021 Player of the Year.

Bielsa has hailed Phillips as an “idol,” and despite a less notable season in the northwest, he still possesses qualities that can greatly benefit any Premier League team.

The Leeds-born midfielder has earned a formidable reputation for his ball-carrying ability, athleticism, precise passing, and stamina, making him an ideal candidate to provide the energetic boost that Moyes desires. He has the potential to emulate Rice’s role in the squad, acting as a ball-winning, ball-distributing shield between the defense and the attack.

Considering the possibility of West Ham participating in the Europa League next season and Phillips struggling to displace the formidable Rodri at Manchester City, this transfer would make perfect sense for both parties. While Rice’s departure would undoubtedly be a daunting prospect for everyone at West Ham, acquiring a player of Phillips’ caliber, who has already proven himself in 61 Premier League appearances, would be an excellent way to soften the blow.