After many windows of trying, what a signing Kalvin Phillips is for West Ham. David Moyes has been a fan for a long time and the former Leeds player almost joined us before he joined Manchester City.
When Moyes became aware of his availability, he was quick to instruct the club to get the signing over the line, even if it is just a loan move for now. There has been no obligation to buy inserted and it appears there isn’t a set agreed buying clause either.
West Ham, should his loan spell be successful, will aim to get the transfer negotiated in the summer. I think this signing is huge for the club. Let’s be honest, how often do you get to sign a current England international, in the peak years of their career, who cost over £42m a couple of years before and is looking to maintain his place in the England squad ahead of a major international competition in the summer? It’s very rare I would say.
Whilst leading up to the January window, I wouldn’t have said a central midfielder was a priority position. But I think when a player of Phillips’ calibre becomes available you have to take it.
Phillips will provide a lot of energy and quality to our midfield and give the manager a number of options. Phillips is meant to be an absolutely lovely bloke too who is very popular with whichever circle he mixes in.
You can’t put a price on that for morale around the place. Another personality trait that will be a great addition is his leadership qualities too. At times I have felt we have lacked leaders on the field and this will give us one.
When you think about it, we have replaced one England International midfielder with another international Three Lions player. But on top of this we have a star boy from Ghana, another England international in JWP, the machine from Mexico and the Rock, albeit occasionally crumbling one, from Greece. This can only be described as sensational business.
This loan will only benefit all parties I am sure. Manchester City get to showcase his talents and get him match fit whilst keeping him in the public eye for a potential summer sale. Whilst the player doesn’t appear to kick up much of a fuss, his loan move out of Manchester does prevent an unhappy player developing too.
The benefits to Phillips and West Ham have already been explained. I am hoping he has a similar impact to another England international that we loaned from Manchester a few years back.
That man in question also wore the number 11 shirt, like Phillips who has chosen it in tribute to the month of his new child’s birth. That man was, of course, from the red side of Manchester but if Phillips can have the impact Lingard had then it will be a hugely significant deal in our recent history.
Let’s hope we do not get the saga that followed with Jesse Lingard. There were no other signings for us last month but the club tried to sign Ibrahim Osman, another Ghanaian from the same academy that Mohammed Kudus graduated from but the overall price and complications with agents stopped it from progressing.
An alternative that was being considered was Jota, that former Celtic player whose career is in limbo in Saudi Arabia due to not being registered in his team’s squad for the league. Again, his financial situation was not straight forward.
Another player who we were keeping an eye on was the versatile defender Trevoh Chalobah with a possible move to get him on loan from rivals Chelsea. He hasn’t played for a long time due to injuries but can play across the back line and in defensive midfield. Being homegrown too would have helped with our quota.
In terms of departures I expected a few academy players to join Gideon Kodua and Callum Marshall in also going out on loan this window.
Despite some Deadline Day drama, Pablo Fornals secured a move back to Spain with Real Betis, who are managed by the man that signed him for West Ham, Manuel Pellegrini. Said Benrahma also left on loan to Lyon for the rest of the season with an option to buy. I’ll talk about these more in my next column.
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