The Lowdown: Phillips set for surgery
Gareth Southgate named the midfielder in his Three Lions squad for their upcoming Nations League fixtures, but Sky Sports have since reported that he’s had to drop out, needing to undergo surgery on a persistent shoulder problem.
Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson has taken his place, but the 26-year-old has not made the start to life with the Premier League giants that he would have hoped for, having played just 14 minutes since his arrival at the Etihad.
The Latest: Whelan reacts
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan, former top flight player and BBC pundit, said Phillips has been unfortunate with injuries throughout his career and this setback could hinder his chances of getting on the plane to Qatar in November.
“He was in the squad for the upcoming games.
“I think the lack of football isn’t good for any player – let alone someone who has just moved to another club.
“The shoulder injury is something that happened at Leeds United and that has recurred.
“It’s not been the start to the season that everyone expected from Phillips – and this is another massive blow for him.
“This was his time to put in a performance and show everyone what he’s all about.
“It might scupper his World Cup chances with the injury and the lack of game time. Gareth Southgate has got a big decision to make as we’ve not got long until the World Cup starts.”
The Verdict: Needs to do more
Phillips played a hugely significant role in helping England reach the Euro 2020 final last summer, so he will be hoping that he can return in time to be considered for the World Cup.
Pep Guardiola has typically rotated his midfield to feature Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva, making it hard for the maestro to get a look in, so he’s got to do more to make an impression.
Will Phillips make the World Cup squad?
Regardless of whether he’s back from injury before then or not, Phillips needs to show what he’s capable of if he wants his time at City to be anywhere near as exciting as first expected.
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