Kalvin Phillips chose to join City for £45 million rather than transfer from Leeds United to Manchester United like Eric Cantona, Rio Ferdinand, and Alan Smith did.
In a statement, Kalvin Phillips explained how his affection for Leeds pushed him to turn down Manchester United this summer.
The English midfielder decided it was impossible for him to follow in the footsteps of Eric Cantona,
Rio Ferdinand, and Alan Smith by moving from Elland Road to Old Trafford and signed a £45 million deal to join rivals Manchester City.
He reasoned that the bitter rivalry between the two Uniteds prevented him from doing so.
Phillips, 26 years old, inquired, “Going to United? No, I’ve never had the chance to go there.
You are aware of my thoughts on Leeds. My family members are all Leeds fans.
I felt privileged that United, one of the top teams in the world, would want me.
“But unfortunately, I had to stay with Leeds and choose to go to Manchester’s City.
I simply think, act, and remain in this manner forever. which I owe my loyalty to those who have given me the best chance in the world.
I made it a point to make signing with Leeds, the first team to sign me, a high priority.
Any player who ventured out to cross the Pennines to don the red shirt of their greatest foe has never been pardoned by Leeds supporters.
In the 1970s, Elland Road supporters demonized Joe Jordan and Gordon McQueen.
And throughout the Premier League period, Cantona, Ferdinand, and Smith all experienced the rage.
However, there is a burgeoning Yorkshire community at the Etihad, where Phillips has teamed up with England teammates Kyle Walker,
who was born in Sheffield, and John Stones, who was born in Barnsley.
Erling Haaland, City’s new £51 million Norwegian striker, was also born in Leeds while his father Alfie was a member of the team.