Kalvin Phillips says that Pep Guardiola's comments about his weight at Manchester City 'knocked his confidence' and had an impact on his whole family.
When the England midfielder returned from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Guardiola revealed that he couldn't train due to having "arrived overweight".
And Phillips, who left City on loan for West Ham last month, has been critical of his boss' handling of the situation.
"When Pep came out and said I was overweight, he was right to do so, but there are different ways to go about it," the former Leeds man said. "I did not disagree with him, but obviously it took a big knock on my confidence and how I felt at City; I would probably say that. And my family were not happy about it, either – especially my mum."
Phillips appeared to take particular issue with Guardiola's choice of language. He continued: "People can sat overweight; overweight for some people is like 10kg. I was probably 1.5kg over my weight target."
He went on to reveal his mother's frustration at his lack of minutes for City, concluding: "My mum has always been there to support me. She got frustrated when I was at City; she didn't come to watch me as much because she didn't like going to watch football without me playing.
"That's just how some mums are. She is a person that has always supported me and she always will. Whatever decision I take in football, she will always be there to support me. I cold have gone anywhere in the world and she would have been there to watch me."
Given that he made just 16 Premier League appearances – 14 of them from the bench – between joining from Leeds 18 months ago and his loan departure, it already seemed inevitable that Phillips would leave City on a permanent basis sooner rather than later.
He still has four years left to run on his contract at the Etihad Stadium, but his recent comments might just have sped the exit the process up.
More from FourFourTwo
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1