Phillips endured a difficult 18 months at City following his switch from Leeds United and finally decided to end his stint in the new year.
It was the only transfer of any immediate significance in an otherwise quiet window for Pep Guardiola’s side, as the 28-year-old joined West Ham United on loan for the rest of the season.
Phillips could have left the Etihad Stadium in the summer but quickly made it clear he wanted to stay and fight for his place. Why leave a club that has just won the treble?
It was a bullish and brave decision but one that hasn’t paid off, with the defensive midfielder seeing a mere 318 minutes of action in blue.
Kalvin Phillips was encouraged to make the switch
Phillips has revealed that England teammate Declan Rice encouraged him to pick West Ham as his next destination.
The Arsenal star spent his early career at the London Stadium and guided them to Europa Conference League victory last season before moving to North London.
“I know Dec quite well and I spoke to him about the club, and he spoke very highly, and he loves the club,” Phillips told his new club’s Official Programme.
“He just said, ‘if there’s a place you are going to go, go to West Ham because you’ll love it there and have an amazing time because they’ve got great people’.
“I spoke to Nobes [Mark Noble] too and I can just tell by the way Nobes and Dec spoke about it that I’m going to like it here.”
Was West Ham the right club to pick?
Rice and Noble were obviously going to speak highly of their former club but was it the right move for Phillips?
He naturally will see more action than he did at City but there is no guarantee he will be a regular starter by any means.
West Ham have got a wealth of talent in the middle of the park and an established, quality trio of James Ward-Prowse, Edson Alvarez and Thomas Soucek, who start most matches.
There’s also Lucas Paqueta and Mohammed Kudus who can play centrally if required. There’s a strong chance Phillips struggles to get a look in, especially if his form doesn’t improve.
It can be put down to ring rust but Phillips has struggled in his two appearances for the Hammers so far, losing the ball to concede a goal in his second against Manchester United.
West Ham might not have been his best move.