Men's Team

Lescott: Why versatile Phillips is a 'top player'

Lescott: Why versatile Phillips is a 'top player'
Joleon Lescott believes that summer signing Kalvin Phillips can emerge as City’s flexible friend this season and beyond.

England international Phillips forged a formidable reputation as a defensive midfielder of the highest quality over the past few seasons at Leeds United prior to his move to City last month.

However, such is his adaptability, the 26-year-old is also equally adept both at being pressed further forward in the engine room as well as also being able to operate as a top-quality centre-half.

And for former City and England central defender Lescott, Phillips’ tactical flexibility means he will offer Pep Guardiola numerous options in terms of how he can be deployed.

“I don’t think he’s restricted to one position in regard to our system,” Lescott insisted

“Potentially, yeah, I think he’s got the qualities to do that (play a more advanced role alongside Rodrigo) but more importantly he’s got the intelligence to do that and also play centre-back.

“He’s got a great reputation, enhanced by his performances for England.

“He’s a huge talent, a humble guy, I’m excited for him and he seems happy that he’s joined

“I’m sure as soon as we stepped in, and again, credit to the Club, he felt like this was the place to be.”

With his extensive experience at both domestic and international level with both Leeds and England, Phillips has also arrived at the Etihad armed with a wealth of priceless elite know-how.

Phillips also emerged as one of England’s standout performers in their march through to the final of Euro 2020 last summer.

And for Guardiola and City, Lescott believes the positives Phillips will bring to the dressing room and beyond are myriad.

He’s physical. He can dribble in terms of that position and being a more defensive minded player, the capability of going past players is huge,” the former England international added.

“There’s not a lot wrong with him overall but the fact he can play multiple positions highlights his intelligence which may go unnoticed to the average person watching the game.

“He plays all of those positions very well, and in one of the best tournaments England have had in recent years (Euro 2020), he came out as the star performer.

“Kalvin’s a top player.”

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