How Man City could line up with Kalvin Phillips

90min
Phillips is heading to City
Phillips is heading to City / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages
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Kalvin Phillips is on his way to Manchester City.

The Leeds United midfielder will join the Premier League champions in a deal worth up to £45m.

But where will the England international play? How does he fit into Pep Guardiola's philosophy? Let's take a look at how he could be deployed at the Etihad Stadium.


Phillips in a lone pivot

Phillips' primary position is as a number six - it's where he played for Leeds, it's where he plays for England.

The problem he will have is displacing Rodri, who has silenced his doubters and is now one of Europe's leading defensive midfielders.

But if there's an injury - and there's bound to be plenty of rotation in a packed season ahead anyway - then there are plenty of options for Phillips to play alongside.

Ilkay Gundogan has stepped up and played crucial roles in City's last two title winning seasons, while Bernardo Silva remains a preferred option too (even if Jack Grealish thought he played like Miguel Almiron on the final day).

Oh, and there's also Kevin De Bruyne.

Potential lineups:

Phillips (DM) - Silva (CM) - De Bruyne (CM)

Phillips (DM) - Silva (CM) - Gundogan (CM)

Phillips (DM) - De Bruyne (CM) - Gundogan (CM)

Phillips (DM) - Silva (CM) - Grealish (CM)

Phillips (DM) - De Bruyne (CM) - Grealish (CM)

Phillips (DM) - Gundogan (CM) - Grealish (CM)


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Phillips in a double pivot

Guardiola experimented with two-man midfields last season in both 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2 and 4-2-4 formations.

Using such systems again would allow Phillips to partner Rodri and take the shackles off his own game a little - though playing with much higher quality players than he did at Leeds will obviously help too.

From there on, it'll be all about which wide players support the two midfielders. Thankfully for Guardiola, he has plenty of options.

Possible lineups:

Mahrez (RM) - Rodri (DM) - Phillips (DM) - Sterling (LM)

Mahrez (RM) - Rodri (DM) - Phillips (DM) - Grealish (LM)

Silva (RM) - Rodri (DM) - Phillips (DM) - Sterling (LM)

Silva (RM) - Rodri (DM) - Phillips (DM) - Grealish (LM)

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