In VMware workstation 16 player, running "adb devices" in the guest OS, doesn't show smartphone device.
But guest OS can see it for file transfer
Same situation with another smartphone I tried it with
So it's not an issue with one smartphone in particular. It happens with both of them.
And in both cases, when looking at them in the host OS, (so, when not setting vmware to switch them to the guest OS), then , from the host OS,
adb devices works.
I have used VMWare Player, though a friend once mentioned that he thought maybe the same issue may be in VMWare workstation Pro.
A commenter suggested that it may require adding multiple devices.. e.g. if a phone may come up as a hub too. But not in this case.. For example, in the case of my Moto G7 Power Smartphone, it doesn't include additional devices.. the only other "Removable devices" listed, are a smartcard reader and a webcam, which have nothing to do with the smartphone, and which VMWare lists anyway even if I unplug the smartphone. And if I switch the smartphone to the Oppo smartphone then ditto, still. The only device that it comes up as is that. The other devices mentioned are smartcard reader and integrated webcam which are there anyway even if I were to unplug the smartphone.