By Carla Booth
Footballer Kalvin Phillips has officially announced his move from Leeds United to Manchester City today.
The 26-year-old midfielder has signed a six-year contract with the current Premier League champions for £42 million.
Phillips made 234 appearances for Leeds United and was a key player during the 2019-20 season, when the club was promoted to the Premier League for the first time in 16 years.
In an official statement this morning Phillips, who was brought up in the Armley and Wortley area and continues to live locally, paid tribute to former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa and current coach Jesse Marsch. He said:
“First of all, I would like to express how much of a privilege it has been to play for this amazing club. Since making my debut at 17 it has been a journey any Leeds lad could wish for.
“When I was young, I went to see my first-ever Leeds game at ER and from that moment I knew that my dream was to put on that white shirt and walk out on that pitch.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved at the club for making Leeds one of the best clubs on earth. Every manager I’ve played under for showing trust in me and teaching me all I know.”
Phillips learned his trade as a youngster at Wortley FC on Blue Hill Lane between 2003 and 2010 and has always acknowledged his roots.
In 2019 Phillips, who attended Whingate Primary and then Farnley Academy as a youngster, supported Wortley FC’s plans for a new pitch off Blue Hill Lane. In a letter supporting the planning application, 25-year-old Phillips thanked the club for its support as a young player and said it was ‘good to hear’ about the plans.
Last April, Phillips showed former England start Ian Wright his roots in Armley and Wortley for BBC’s Football Focus show:
He made his professional debut for Leeds United in April 2015 and has stayed with the club since.
Phillips will debut as number 4 for City and has stated: “City are a world-class team with world-class staff and facilities. It’s a dream come true to join the club.”
His last season with Leeds United was restricted by injury, however he managed to return near to the end of the season to help the club retain their place in the Premier League.
Leeds United have issued an official statement saying: “No words can thank Kalvin enough for his efforts whilst at the club and we wish him nothing but success in the future.”
Manchester City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain said: “Kalvin is a player we have long admired, and at both domestic and international level, he has proved his fantastic ability and quality over the past few seasons.”
Phillips started in every game for England during Euro 2020 and was voted 2020-21 BT England Men’s Player of the year.