Kevin Phillips Joins Leicester City
City manager Nigel Pearson said: “The opportunity to sign a player of Kevin’s experience and know-how doesn’t come along too often so I’m delighted that we’ve been able to add him to our squad.
“He’s a player I know well, he’s a fantastic professional with multiple promotions to his name and he will bring some great qualities to the group, both on and off the pitch.”
Phillips, 40, joins City as a free agent following his recent departure from Crystal Palace, with whom he won his fourth promotion to the Premier League last season – scoring a match-winning, extra-time penalty in the Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley.
Arriving with over 650 career appearances and 285 goals to his name, the former England international has represented the likes of Sunderland, Southampton, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion during a 20-year career in which he became one of the most feared English marksmen of his generation.
Phillips’ career first gathered pace during a two-and-a-half-year spell with Watford, where he scored 25 goals in 65 games following his arrival from non-league Baldock Town. But it was after joining Sunderland in 1997 that his career really took off.
He plundered 35 Championship goals during his first season with the Black Cats, who just missed out on promotion, before hitting another 25 during the following campaign as Sunderland went up as champions. The step up in quality proved no problem for Phillips, whose 30 goals during his debut season in the Premier League were enough to earn him the coveted European Golden Boot. He remains the only Englishman on the award’s illustrious list of past winners.
In 2003, Phillips joined Southampton, scoring on his debut against Leicester and continuing to find the net regularly before joining Aston Villa two years later. Despite again scoring in his first game, an injury-disrupted spell at Villa Park came to an end when he signed for West Brom just over a year later.
It was at the Hawthorns that Phillips first worked with City manager Nigel Pearson, who took temporary charge of the Baggies, then of the Championship, in the autumn of 2006. Phillips scored a hat-trick in Pearson’s final game in caretaker charge – three of 22 goals he would register in his first season. He added another promotion to his CV the following year, hitting a further 24 goals as West Brom went up as champions.
Spells with Birmingham City, where he won a third promotion, and Blackpool followed before a January 2013 move to Palace, who made full use of Phillips’ considerable expertise en route to their play-off triumph over Watford in May.
He made five substitute appearances for Palace during the opening half of the current campaign before agreeing his departure from Selhurst Park earlier this month.
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