We ‘signed’ Kalvin Phillips for Man City to see if he could bring Champions League glory

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Manchester City are interested in signing Leeds star Kalvin Phillips this summer, with Pep Guardiola keen to replace Fernandinho.

Phillips has been linked with a move away from Leeds United, after Jesse Marsch’s side narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League on the final day of the 2021-22 campaign. Fernandinho is set to leave City this summer after nine years with the club, leaving Guardiola needing a replacement to rotate with Rodri in midfield.

The Manchester Evening News understands that City are interested in signing the England international in this summer’s transfer window. The club have prioritized Phillips’ signature over other players such as Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong and Sporting’s Matheus Nunes.

READ MORE: Where Man City stand on Kalvin Phillips, left-back and exits as transfer window opens

So, if Phillips was to make the move to City in the summer, what sort of impact could he have on Guardiola’s side? Could the England international help City win the Champions League?

We simulated the 2022-23 season with Phillips in the City squad and this is what happened.

We ‘signed’ Kalvin Phillips for City in July 2022

To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2022 editor to arrange for Phillips to join City at the start of the summer transfer window, using FM22 to run the simulation. This is what Phillips’ in-game profile looks like on FM22.



Kalvin Phillips' in-game profile on Football Manager 2022.
Kalvin Phillips’ in-game profile on Football Manager 2022.

Phillips is a tireless midfielder with exceptional attributes across the board including his Passing (16), Aggression (16), Work Rate (18), Natural Fitness (18) and Stamina (18). The 26-year-old has amazing physical attributes for a box-to-box midfielder whilst also having solid technical attributes such as his Technique (13), Tackling (13), Marking (13), First Touch (13) and Heading ( 12) which could be improved further under Guardiola.



Kalvin Phillips' statistics for Man City in the 2022/23 season.
Kalvin Phillips’ statistics for Man City in the 2022/23 season.

Phillips made a total of 50 appearances for City in the 2022-23 season, but only 20 of those came as starts under Guardiola. The England international scored two goals and registered two assists as Phillips was rotated with Rodri in the Blues’ midfield throughout the campaign.

The 26-year-old averaged a pass completion rate of 89 per cent, highlighting Phillips’ ability to perform in Guardiola’s tactical system, contributing when City are in possession. The English midfielder averaged a tackle success rate of 75 per cent, only bettered by Rodri out of all City midfielders showing how effective Phillips is at winning the ball back and retaining possession.

At the end of the 2022-23 season, Football Manager 2022 put together an overall best Man City XI, based on performances, statistics and other metrics. This is what City’s best XI looked like at the end of the 2022-23 season as predicted by Football Manager 2022:

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Man City's best XI in the 2022/23 season.
Man City’s best XI in the 2022/23 season.

Full City best XI (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko; Rodri, De Bruyne, Phillips; Silva, Foden, Haaland.

Phillips featured alongside Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne in City’s best XI for the 2022-23 campaign. New signing Erling Haaland led the attack alongside PFA Young Player of the Year winner Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva.

So, how did City perform in the league and cup competitions after signing Phillips in the summer transfer window? Let’s take a look.

City’s results from the 2022-23 simulation:

City won the Premier League for a fifth time in six years and for the third successive season, pipping rivals Liverpool to the title by six points. Guardiola’s side only lost two games from their 38 fixtures, highlighting their ability to dominate games and pick up points even when they’re not at their best.



Manchester City won the Premier League.
Manchester City won the Premier League.

Phillips contributed to helping City have the joint-best defensive record in the division with just 25 goals conceded, one goal better off compared to last season. In comparison to the 2021-22 season, City finished in the same league position but with one more point.

Guardiola’s side won both domestic cups after beating Southampton twice at Wembley. City almost completed a historic Quadruple but fell at the last hurdle, losing 2-1 to Barcelona in the Champions League final after Phil Foden opened the scoring before Memphis Depay equalized, with Clement Lenglet scoring the winner in extra time.



Man City's performances in the cup competitions.
Man City’s performances in the cup competitions.

Overall, this Football Manager simulation predicts that if City were to sign Phillips ahead of the 2022-23 season, they could complete a famous domestic Treble, narrowly missing out on a historic Quadruple by the finest of margins. The England international’s performances in midfield helped stabilize the team, offering a quality rotation option for Rodri that allowed City to compete on all fronts with the 26-year-old playing a key part in helping City have the best defensive record in the Premier League.

Would you like to see Kalvin Phillips sign for Manchester City this summer? Let us know in the comments!

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