Fri, Mar

Anthony Martial of Manchester United and Daniel Phillips of Watford in action during the FA Cup Third Round match between Manchester United and Watford on January 9, 2021 in Manchester, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Visionhaus)

Steve Evans has won the race to the capture of exciting central midfield player, Daniel Phillips, on a season-long loan from Premier League side Watford.

The 20-year-old featured five times for the Hornets last season, one of those appearances being at Old Trafford in the Emirates FA Cup. 

Phillips came through the academy ranks at Chelsea before signing for Watford as a 14-year old in 2015. He made his professional debut in a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough in September 2020. 

He has already represented Trinidad and Tobago on two occasions. He made his full international debut in March earlier this year against Guyana.

The manager remained patient in his chase for the player, but was delighted to get it sorted.

He said: "He is a player that I first became aware of when I watched a number of Watford U23 games last season, in which the boy was outstanding.

"I wouldn't expect many of our supporters to know much about the young man, but they will certainly know about Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United and England, and if they want a comparison from me then there it is.

“Given he is much more inexperienced, and although younger than Kalvin, what a great benchmark for him to aim for.

"A number of clubs at the high end of League 1’s spending table were in talks with Watford, but I was delighted to get a call from the new Technical Director to say that our offer to bring this man on loan to the Gills was the preferred option for the player, and the management team at Watford.

"He joins on a season long loan, and we will work hard for him to continue his development. I am of course grateful to the staff at Watford."