Guardiola makes U-turn on Phillips weight comments: ´He has a perfect, sexy body´

    Manchester City manager Josep Guardiola joked that Calvin Phillips has a “perfect body” after missing the midfielder last week due to being “overweight”.

    Phillips returned to the bench after a 3-1 win over former club Leeds United on Wednesday, six days after being left out of the squad in the EFL Cup Round of 16 clash with Liverpool.

    Guardiola said after the Liverpool match that Phillips, who recovered from injury to play twice for England in the World Cup, was not in the right physical condition to play.

    However, Guardiola changed those comments and confirmed that Phillips could be involved in the fight against Everton on Saturday.

    “Now he has the perfect body – so sexy,” Guardiola said after the victory over Leeds, which pushed City five points clear of leaders Arsenal. “We’ll see on the weekend.”

    Phillips has only made four appearances as a substitute for City, playing just 54 minutes since joining Leeds in a £42m deal.

    “He spent the first part of the season out [after] had an operation to get to the World Cup, and did everything to get to the World Cup, ”added Guardiola.

    “It’s not just about being in good shape; you also have to understand what we want to do, movements.

    “That means as fast as possible, because Rodri can’t play all the games, he will play as fast as possible.

    “But I’m glad Calvin really trained well. [on Tuesday] and sooner or later he will play.

    Erling Haaland scored two goals for City in the second half at Elland Road after Rodri had a breakthrough just before the defending champions’ break.

    Haaland has scored 20 Premier League goals in 14 appearances, seven games fewer than any other player in the competition’s history.

    However, in warning Premier League defenders, Guardiola believes there is still more to come.

    “He is an incredible threat to us and he is always in the right place at the right time, which is very good,” Guardiola said.

    “I think he is still not at his best due to the injury. It’s not easy for him to move his huge body, but no matter how many minutes he plays, he will get better.”

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