Kalvin Phillips makes West Ham transfer admission as two-year pursuit ends

Kalvin Phillips has revealed that he would have joined West Ham 18 months ago, had Manchester City not swooped for his services.

City paid Leeds £45million to sign Phillips in July 2022, but the 28-year-old made just two Premier League starts for them in a year-and-a half, with Pep Guardiola deciding early on that he was not in his plans.

Phillips was keen for a loan move this month to help secure a place in England’s Euro 2024 squad, and West Ham have beaten the likes of Crystal Palace, Juventus and Barcelona to his signature.

“I’m very excited to be here”, Phillips told West Ham’s official podcast, Iron Cast.

“I was in Abu Dhabi with City. We were on a warm-weather training camp, and all I could think about was getting a loan sorted.

“Honestly, if City [had not] come in for me 18 months ago then West Ham would probably have been the club that I’d have come to. I think it was always in the pipeline.”

He added: “I spoke to Moyesey [manager, David Moyes] over the phone while I was there, and he just reassured me that it’s probably the best place for me to come on loan. Moyesey has been after me for two years, he said on the phone.

Long-term target: West Ham pursued Kalvin Phillips for two years before finally sealing a loan (West Ham United)
Long-term target: West Ham pursued Kalvin Phillips for two years before finally sealing a loan (West Ham United)

“I love every minute and every second of it, and so far I have done already. I’m very happy coming here and signing — I’m looking forward to getting going.”

Phillips, who will wear the No11 shirt, could make his Hammers debut next Thursday when they host Bournemouth.

“I know it’s Bournemouth and then [Manchester] United," he said. "I’m ready and raring to go. I’ve got a friend that plays in midfield for Bournemouth as well, so I’ll be looking forward to that game."

The England midfielder was reminded that the likes of Tomas Soucek, Jarrod Bowen and Jesse Lingard were all January signings who found form immediately at West Ham.

“I hope so”, he said about replicating those names. “I’ve watched West Ham quite a lot over the past few years, and I’ve seen the loan spell of Jesse and how well he did, and Jarrod as well.

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“It’s been a whirlwind few days, but I’m here and I’m ready to play and give everything for the team.”

Increased game time at West Ham is likely to see Phillips included in Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2024 squad, having previously competed at both Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

“I’m excited," he added. "I’ve just seen how well all the other players that have been recently called up are doing. Some of the main players in the team like Harry Kane, he’s been doing so well. Jude Bellingham has been doing so well. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Phil Foden, who is at City.

“To see them doing well, it just gives us real confidence going into a tournament, because you know that they’re going to be on fire by the time we get going.”