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Saturday, November 26, 2022

£50m star ‘won’t be fully fit’ for England vs USA

Manchester City defender Kyle Walker getting minutes in England‘s next World Cup game against the USA would be “ideal” as he looks to build up his fitness, says injury analyst Ben Dinnery.

The 32-year-old had to have groin surgery before the tournament started and did not feature in the Three Lions’ 6-2 win versus Iran on Monday.

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Who started in place of Walker against Iran?

With Walker clearly not being fit enough to make Gareth Southgate’s first 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 come in for the former Atletico Madrid and Tottenham man.

However, he has also played at centre-back for England, so there is always the chance that he could start there instead, especially if his manager opts to use a three-man central defence.

England, though, were in a 4-3-3 shape for their opening game of the World Cup, 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 if England wrapped up their game against the USA early before handing Walker some minutes.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the injury news journalist said: “In terms of that sharpness and that match fitness and being fully fit, the expectation is that Kyle Walker certainly won’t be that given the fact that he’s missed now maybe six, possibly even seven weeks of competitive football.

“The ideal situation is to get this sort of group game, this secure progression to the next phase, done nice and early. Give Gareth Southgate an opportunity to maybe give some minutes against the USA. If not, then certainly Wales, and that will be with a view then to, you know, being able to call upon him for those those knockout stages.”

Do England need Walker?

When they start to come up against 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, earning 70 caps for his country so far.

In the knockout round, assuming England get there, the Three Lions could really do with that.

For the USA game, though, it looks like Southgate will have to stick with Trippier or use Trent Alexander-Arnold, who are not terrible options, to say the least.

You can find all the latest football news and rumours right here


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