Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Erik ten Hag slammed for failing to land Kalvin Phillips and address ‘huge miss’ in Man Utd team

Kalvin Phillips England June 2022

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has been criticised for failing to make an attempt to sign Manchester City-bound Kalvin Phillips.

Leeds midfielder Phillips is expected to sign for the champions in an initial £42m transfer after the two clubs agreed the transfer last week.

The England man will step into the shoes of the departed Fernandinho and will join Rodri in competing for a place in Pep Guardiola’s engine room.

Phillips has developed into one of the Premier League’s best holding midfielders and he is a regular for England.

It’s that progress that has pushed Guardiola into making a move for the Leeds-born player. But Tony Cascarino cannot understand why City’s cross-city rivals Manchester United did not pursue Phillips.

Ten Hag is yet to make a signing at Old Trafford despite a whole host of exits including midfielders Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic.

Cascarino believes 26-year-old Phillips would have been perfect for United.

“I don’t know why Man United have not made a move for Kalvin Phillips. They might say that they tried to and he’d already decided that he was going to City, but he’s exactly what Man United need,” he told talkSPORT.

Phillips facing Rodri battle

“He might not have wanted to go there, that might be the reason, but there seemingly wasn’t any competition from a club who sorely need that type of player. It’s a huge miss in their team, a ball-winning player who can keep it and let other players do their thing and he does that as well as anybody.”

Phillips, according to Sky Sports, ruled out any other move bar Manchester City, out of respect for Leeds. The boyhood Leeds fan will no doubt have scoffed at the prospect of signing for Leeds’ deadly rivals Manchester United.

Cascarino believes Ten Hag is in danger of missing out on landing a midfield enforcer.

“We’ve seen Bissouma go to Tottenham for a relatively low fee at £20m-25m. Okay, he had a year left on his contract so it’s a different circumstance but players without great numbers in terms of goals and assists, their fees aren’t quite as big.

“The only one is Declan Rice. Rice doesn’t have great stats in goals and assists, but everyone can watch him and see his disruption of teams and how he affects their performance. I think that Kalvin Phillips does that, but he’s gone to a side who had the best holding midfield player in the country in Rodri, who was above Declan Rice,” added Cascarino.