West Ham coach Kevin Nolan says Declan Rice told him to look after Kalvin Phillips ahead of his loan move in January.
But Nolan has defended the former Leeds United star and told talkSPORT Drive that he will be back to his best when he finds his feet.
He also told Andy Goldstein and Andy Townsend that Rice, who left West Ham last summer for Arsenal and knows Phillips well from England duty, played a role by giving Nolan a text.
When asked if he knew Phillips well, Nolan told talkSPORT: “No, I didn’t know him before he got here but obviously we heard really good things about him from Dec[lan Rice].
“Obviously, me being close with Dec and working well with him for a few years, he texted me a couple of times just saying: ‘Look after Kalv, he is a great lad, you’ll enjoy working with him’.
“And I have. I have thoroughly enjoyed the first week or so, two weeks, now that he’s been with us. Yeah, gaffer said it, you have got to give him time.
“We were just speaking off-air with Andy, when you haven’t been playing, when you haven’t had that week in, week out, and you come in and sometimes it takes that little bit of time.
“He is trying to get to know us, us as a unit and what we want because we are going to be totally different to what Manchester City are.
“So he is just finding his feet and I’m sure as soon as he does he is going to be an absolutely tremendous signing for us from now until the end of the season.
“I am really looking forward to it and to be honest, I can’t knock him, he is a great kid, he wants to work hard. You could see he was really upset after the weekend.”
West Ham had a relatively busy January compared to other clubs in what was a quiet transfer window generally.
Phillips joined on loan until the end of the season, though there is no option to buy in the summer. The Hammers will pay his £140,000-a-week wages.
Pablo Fornals also departed after entering the final 18 months of his contract and signed for Real Betis for around £7million.
Said Benrahma eventually left and joined Lyon, though the transfer was not without problems after going over the deadline on February 1.