England midfielder Kalvin Phillips dream of representing his nation at this year’s FIFA World Cup is in jeopardy after he is slated to undergo a shoulder surgery. The 26-year-old was missing from Manchester City’s roster for the Wolves’ trip and manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed that his summer signing needs to have a surgery to get rid of the recurring injury.
Phillips made a switch from Leeds United to Man City this summer after the English champions splashed £45 million on his acquisition. However, he has failed to be a regular for the Sky Blues making just three appearances so far in all competitions garnering a mere 13 minutes across those. The midfielder has been troubled by the shoulder injury and will now go under the knife, two months ahead of the FIFA World Cup.
Kalvin Phillips would be a crucial miss for Gareth Southgate should he miss the bus
Kalvin Phillips’ shoulder issues date back to 2020 when he was still with Leeds United. After making his debut for England in September that year, he missed another three games for the Three Lions two months later owning to the shoulder injury. However, his reluctance to have a surgery on the injury earlier didn’t help him as he will now have to compromise with his chances of making it to Gareth Southgate’s final squad for the World Cup.
Moreover, with the competition England have in that position in Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham and James Ward-Prowse, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Conor Gallagher also waiting for their chance, Phillips would find it difficult to get back into the fold unless he’s fully fit and has considerable game-time under his belt ahead of the world tournament.
City manager Pep Guardiola explained the whole situation with Kalvin Phillips, revealing his shoulder has been a constant worry even ‘popping out three or four times’. The 26-year-old will also miss the latest call-up by Gareth Southgate for UEFA Nations League games against Germany and Italy. Guardiola said:
“It’s a problem with the shoulder again and maybe he [Kalvin Phillips] needs surgery in the next days. He won’t go with England [for Nations League fixtures] this time, no way. I am not a doctor but in a good way he can be at the World Cup, of course. The doctor says the only solution right now is to do what we have to do. Every time he’s out because of this and the doctors say if it’s three or four times out then the only solution is to have surgery.
“Absolutely [it’s frustrating] for us as well. We need him because Rodri cannot play all the games. Kalvin came to fight for that position and sometimes you need two holding midfielders to be more defensive. But I think it will be a bit longer because I think he needs surgery.”
Meanwhile, not only the midfielder but Southgate too will miss his player if he’s unbale to make it to Qatar with the team. Kalvin Phillips has been a regular in England set up since making his debut, having had featured 23 times so far. The Three Lions have collected 14 victories and lost only 3 games whenever the former Leeds midfielder has started in the midfield. Phillips also started England’s every game during their famous run to the final of EURO 2020, where they went down to Italy at Wembley.
While Guardiola still feels there’s a chance for his midfielder to make it to the World Cup, it would still depend on Southgate’s call. The world tournament is two months away and Phillips so far has managed only 13 minutes of football. It is still unclear whether he will return ahead of the World Cup and play good amount of minutes with City. It’s a race against the time for England’s reliable midfielder to play in his first ever FIFA World Cup.