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Manchester City man needs to ‘convince’ Pep Guardiola of club future after disappointing season

Pep Guardiola is yet to be impressed.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has warned that summer signing Kalvin Phillips needs to ‘convince’ both himself and the Spaniard that he is deserving of a place in the side following a difficult season at the Etihad.

After suffering a first half of the campaign marred by injury, Phillips has played just 100 minutes in the Premier League, all coming from the substitutes bench, and there have been suggestions that he could move on this summer as a result.

Speaking on the topic, Guardiola admitted that the ex-Leeds man was yet to earn his confidence, and that Phillips needed to convince both himself and his teammates of his place at the club.

“Players have to earn my confidence – all of them, not just Kalvin,” the Manchester City boss explained.

“At the end we’re here, I try to be honest with the questions and my feelings.

“My feelings sometimes change. But at the end it belongs to the players, they have to convince themselves and the team and not because I say something.

The Manchester City boss also pointed to the close nature of the Premier League title race as a reason that Phillips hadn’t seen much action, with City needing to use Rodri on a weekly basis rather than the summer signing.

“I’m not complaining about Kalvin because when you don’t play much it’s difficult to take the rhythm,” Guardiola said.

“John [Stones] we’re seven years together, Rodri is [four] years together. I don’t have to tell them anything. Just little details – a movement here or there.

“Kalvin if maybe in the past he’d played more minutes he will get that but Rodri was in exceptional form.

“That role is so, so important, that’s why the lack of minutes makes the circle more difficult. But he always pays attention, in the training sessions he is always open-minded to get it.

“But being behind Arsenal, we cannot drop points. We haven’t had that situation of being eight, 10 points in front – in the past it happened.

“We will see at the end of the season. We’ll sit with the players. Maybe they want more minutes or maybe they are not happy with the situation. But right now I’m not going to discuss anything.”

The latest comments come amid reported interest from West Ham United, who are tracking the Englishman as they look to find a replacement for Declan Rice, who is expected to leave the club this summer and with Arsenal seemingly in the driving seat for his signature.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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