‘Just play’ - Former Aston Villa striker tells £45m midfielder to make Everton move

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The former Aston Villa forward has spoken out on where the Manchester City midfielder should go.

Former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has told Kalvin Phillips to choose Everton as his next destination to ensure he remains in the England set-up.

Phillips, 27, has failed to make a real impact at Manchester City since moving in the summer window in 2022 and has started just one game under Pep Guardiola this season.

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Even with Rodri out with a suspension, Phillips hasn’t been called upon and it looks increasingly likely that he will have to seek first-team football elsewhere - especially with the European Championships coming up next summer.

Late in the summer window Phillips was linked with a move to Everton, but nothing materialised due to Everton’s financial restrictions but it is a move that Agbonlahor feels would be perfect for him to restore his confidence and play regular football.

Agbonlahor told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: He’s not got a future at Man City, that’s for sure.

“Pep Guardiola didn’t even start him against Arsenal with Rodri out suspended. He’ll be saying ‘why did you buy me if I’m not playing these games’.

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“If he wasn’t sure about his future before that game, he knows now. If I’m him, I want to play football. He’s a young lad with a lot of years left.

“Join Everton or West Ham and just play football, because otherwise you are going to affect your England chances.”

Phillips started during England’s win over Italy in the latest European qualifiers, playing 70 minutes and Southgate backed the former Leeds United midfielder revealing he is one of the best options for that defensive midfield role:

“Of course it’s not perfect that he doesn’t play every week, but in that position, I don’t see a better player in England to do that job in a double-pivot with Declan Rice.

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“So it’s not easy, but I have to say it every time, a bit like Harry Maguire, every time they play for England, they show what top players they are.”

He has been linked with moves to Newcastle United, as well as Everton and he recently expressed his desire to play regular football: “I want to play football and want to play as much as possible.” He told the BBC. “Over the last year and a half, I haven’t been able to do that due to injuries and [other factors]. It’s something I am going to have to think about.”

Everton boast Idrissa Gueye, James Garner and Amadou Onana for the deeper midfield roles but Phillips would certainly bring experience and quality and a hunger to prove himself ahead of next summer’s tournament in Germany.

Sean Dyche would certainly take to the tough-tackling midfielder, who could form a strong partnership with either Onana or Garner and help give either Abdoulaye Doucoure or Garner more freedom to join attacks ahead of them.

In terms of financials, if the takeover from 777 Partners does go ahead, they may be able to fund a loan move until the end of the season which would be a huge boost for the Toffees.

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