I don’t think we were ever certain of our best centre-back pairing last season. El-Abd and Jombati may have
been the most frequently used combination, but even they missed 12 and 13 league games respectively. Anthony Stewart played just over a third of the season but was hampered by injury, and Darius Charles – whilst there’s never really been any doubting his quality – didn’t make his debut until mid-September and was done by early November.
Now there’s a new face in the building – just to add to the uncertainty.
No. In reality, Giles Phillips’ arrival is a very welcome one. We were short in the area and in need of a bit of a youth. The young American – whose split his life more or less evenly between the States and the UK – should see to that, even if he’s not likely to break into the starting XI yet. He joins having yet to play a senior game – a rumoured loan move to MLS side New England Revolution in February never materialised.
Our second loan Ranger to arrive this summer – and the seventh in three seasons – Phillips, who netted with a thumping header in the 3-2 friendly win at Woking (2:52 below), will almost certainly remain for the whole of 2019/20*. He’s yet to make a senior appearance for his parent club, who he joined in June 2017 after a successful trial. Then a sophomore at Carthage, he became the first player in the Wisconsin college’s history to sign an international professional contract.
Another signing whose life experience outweighs his football experience so far, you’d expect Phillips to be on the periphery of the squad at this stage (if our squad can truly have a periphery and depending on how soon Sido returns). If the aforementioned Charles ends up signing a short-term/pay as you play deal, that’ll push the 22-year-old down the pecking order some more.
Is Giles another Ainsworth gem? It’s too early to say. Will he see more minutes than the last centre-half to come to us from Loftus Road? Given that he’s been properly unveiled – unlike Charlie Fox last August – and how highly the gaffer has spoken of him already, you’d have to say yes – especially with his QPR contract set to expire next June, this feels less like a ‘development’ loan. It may take injuries for him to get his break, but knowing our luck with on that front, that could come in a week or two.
Quick Facts & Stats
Born: 22nd June 1997
Former clubs: QPR (2017-present)
Senior record: N/A
If you’re interested, Phillips’ college bio, stats etc. can be found here.
Chairboys Trivia Teaser
Who was the last American to play for Wycombe?