Having started just two Premier League matches for Manchester City since his summer 2022 move from Leeds, Phillips was eager to leave the Etihad this month in a bid to play regularly enough to make England’s Euro 2024 squad.
But despite an offer from Palace and interest from the likes of Barcelona and Juventus, Phillips was convinced to join West Ham when manager David Moyes told him he had wanted to sign him for the last two years.
“You know our interest in Kalvin Phillips”, Hodgson said on Monday. “We did think a player like him would be an ideal person to step into Cheick Doucoure’s shoes and bring his talent, quality and experience to us.
“It's not easy to find the right person. Phillips became impossible for us when West Ham showed their hand and wanted to take him. He preferred to go there, we have to accept that.
“[Central midfield] is an area that I know the club are thinking about and would possibly like to help strengthen.
“But who with? And is that player going to strengthen us? We’re right back in that ballpark, which is the ballpark that Doug Freedman and Steve Parish occupy. If something comes along and the club can do something, I’ll be very grateful.”
Hodgson also revealed Rob Holding had surgery last Tuesday on his long-term ankle injury, and explained that a final decision will be taken on Tuesday morning as to whether the returning Michael Olise will start against Sheffield United after recovering from a hamstring injury.
He said of Olise: “He’s available to [start]. But he had a very, very long spell out. He came back, and then he’s been out for a further four weeks with an injury in a similar part of the body.
“You can understand that the doctors and the sports scientists are very concerned. I understand them too, but I also trust Michael and how he thinks and feels.
“I will speak to him again tomorrow before the game, and if he were to assure me: ‘Don’t worry, I can play, I want to start’, I would start him. But if he, alongside the medical people, suggested it might be a bit soon and said ‘I’m not certain that I feel ready for it’, I would respect that too.”