Man City boss Pep Guardiola has made light of Kalvin Phillips’ weight issues with the England international now possessing the “perfect body”.
Phillips was named on the bench as the Citizens beat Leeds United 3-1 at Elland Road on Wednesday night after Guardiola criticised him for coming back from the World Cup “overweight”.
“He’s not injured – he arrived overweight,” Guardiola said last week. “I don’t know [why]. He didn’t arrive in the condition to do training sessions and to play.”
Phillips didn’t come off the bench for Man City but Guardiola thinks the 27-year-old, with his “perfect body”, will be ready to play “sooner or later”.
“He has the perfect body now – so sexy,” Guardiola said. “We will see for the weekend.
“He has spent the first part of the season out with surgery to arrive for the World Cup – and did everything to get to the World Cup.
“It’s not just about just being fit you also have to understand what we want to do, the movements etc.
“So that means, as quick as possible, because Rodri cannot play all the games, so as quick as possible he he will play.
“But I’m happy that yesterday for example Kalvin trained really well and sooner or later he will play.”
Man City boss Guardiola has come in for some criticism over his initial comments with Alan Shearer claiming the Spaniard possibly wanted to “embarrass him”.
“I was surprised,” Shearer told Amazon Prime ahead of City’s match against Leeds.
“I don’t know why he said it – I’m guessing there must have been a reason.
“Maybe embarrass him to a certain extent – has he been disappointed in his attitude? Whether he’s firing something back at him.
“It hasn’t gone as well as one would hope – whether that be for injury or some other reason. There must be a reason.”
Erling Haaland bagged a brace in the win over Leeds, with Man City now back to within five points of leaders Arsenal, but Guardiola still thinks the Norwegian is “still not at his best” after recovering from injury.
Guardiola said after the match: “He misses chances, but the numbers are exceptional.
“He’s an incredible threat for us and always in the right position the right time, really good.
“I think he is still not at his best because of the injury, to move his huge body is not easy for him, but as much as he can play minutes, (he) will be better.”
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