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'This club is in his heart' - Struggling Man City star Phillips 'misses' Leeds, claims Marsch

10:41 GMT 28/12/2022
Kalvin Phillips Leeds United 2022-23
Jesse Marsch has claimed that Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips "misses" Leeds United ahead of his return to Elland Road.
  • Phillips left Leeds for City in July
  • Marsch highlighted link between club & player
  • Claimed midfielder "misses" Leeds

WHAT HAPPENED? Leeds take on City on Wednesday in their first Premier League matchup since the international break. Phillips joined City in July after eight seasons with the Whites, and Marsch has acknowledged the strong ties between the club and their former player. The American coach revealed the difficulty of replacing the midfielder this campaign, before claiming that he still "misses" being at Elland Road.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Clearly he will have a strong attachment to the fans, his family being here," Marsch told reporters. "He would have 30 family members at matches here and you could multiply that by two probably for this match. If you asked me what was the hardest part about replacing Kalvin, it was a little bit of that, making sure we still had the feeling of what Leeds United is.

"And I think we've replaced that with really good people. We still miss Kalvin. He came for one of our matches, Fulham, and you could see he felt the pain of losing that match. It was like he was still here and he missed being here. Of course he misses being here, he misses the guys. He's got a lot of great friends. This club is in his heart."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Unfortunately for Phillips, a shoulder injury sustained in mid-September has stunted any sort of progress at his new club, as he has managed just four appearances for City across all competitions in 2022-23. The 27-year-old did make a couple of substitute appearances for England at the 2022 World Cup, although club manager Pep Guardiola has since claimed that the midfielder returned from Qatar overweight, putting into question his availability for Wednesday's fixture at Elland Road.


WHAT NEXT FOR PHILLIPS? While fitness issues may hinder the player's chances of featuring against his former club, Phillips will be hoping to be back in action when City take on Everton on New Year's Eve.