Micah Richards addresses Kalvin Phillips 'regret' over Leeds United exit amid Man City and West Ham woes

The midfielder has endured a torrid time since leaving Leeds United in 2022.
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Micah Richards has backed Kalvin Phillips to return to his best form in the future after what has been another dismal week for the former Leeds United star.

Phillips is coming towards the end of his second full season away from Leeds, having left his boyhood club for Manchester City in a £42million deal back in 2022. The midfielder moved to the Etihad in the form of his life, having won England's Player of the Year in 2020/21, but has been unable to continue his upward trajectory since.

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Fitness issues and the consistency of Rodri saw minutes limited for Phillips and City, forcing him to leave in January with a place in this summer's England squad for Euro 2024 at risk. But a slow start to life at West Ham saw the 28-year-old absent for the March international break fixtures and things got worse when he was seen appearing to swear at a West Ham fan who called him 'useless, following Saturday's 4-3 defeat at Newcastle United.

“I don’t think he regrets it, no, because you want to challenge yourself," Richards told BBC's Monday Night Club of Phillips' Leeds exit. "I think when he first went there, we spoke about it, how was it going to work? Were Man City going to play a double pivot because we know how important Rodri is, but now we have seen Kovacic playing that role with Rodri.

“Looking back at it now, of course, because it looks like he has no confidence whatsoever. We’ve talked about when Pep said he came back a bit overweight, he wasn’t saying he can’t play football, he was just saying when you go to training you get weighed in the morning and he was over his acceptable weight to play football.

“It didn’t work for him and he’s gone to play at West Ham and you can just see he is playing within himself. He’s not playing with freedom. You know when you are a player and you are overthinking and making mistakes and dwelling on the ball a little bit.

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“When he was at Leeds he would get on the ball wherever he would be on the pitch and play a lovely 40 yard ball. It’s almost like now he is thinking too much about what he is doing. He is still a quality player, I would back him at some stage to get back to his best.”