Manchester City defender Kyle Walker getting minutes in England’s next World Cup game against the United States would be “ideal” as he looks to improve his fitness, injury analyst Ben Dinnery says.
The 32-year-old had to undergo groin surgery before the start of the tournament and did not feature in the Three Lions’ 6-2 win over Iran on Monday.
GiveMeSport The Verdict
Who started in place of Walker against Iran?
With Walker clearly not fit enough to make Gareth Southgate’s starting XI for the Iran game, Newcastle United’s Kieran Trippier was England’s right back on the day.
When Southgate feels Walker is ready, the £50m City star could replace the former Atletico Madrid and Tottenham man.
However, he has also played as a centre-back for England, so there is always the possibility that he could start there, especially if his manager opts to use a three-man central defence.
England, however, were in 4-3-3 form for their first World Cup match, so it will be interesting to see if that changes against Gregg Berhalter’s side on Friday.
What has Dinnery said about Walker and England?
Dinnery says it would be ideal for England to finish their match against the USA early before handing Walker a few minutes.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the injury news reporter said: “In terms of that sharpness and that fitness and being fully fit, the expectation is that Kyle Walker certainly won’t be, given the fact who has now missed six, maybe even seven, weeks of competitive football.
“The ideal situation is to achieve this type of group game, this safe progression to the next phase, done early and well. It gives Gareth Southgate a chance to give him some minutes against the USA. If not, surely Wales, and that will be with the aim, you know, of being able to call him up for those knockout stages.”
Do England need Walker?
When they start to encounter stronger opposition, yes.
Walker is easily one of the best defenders Southgate currently has at his disposal, with former Sheffield United midfielder Curtis Woodhouse hailing him as a “world-class” right-back.
He is also obviously a very experienced player at international level, having won 70 caps for his country so far.
In the knockout round, assuming England get there, the Three Lions could really do it.
For the USA game, though, it looks like Southgate will have to stick with Trippier or use Trent Alexander-Arnold, which aren’t terrible options to say the least.
You can find all the news football news and rumors right here
News Now – Sports News