‘He remains a top full back’: Pep Guardiola backs Kyle Walker to bounce back and show qualities after second England snub by Gareth Southgate
- Pep Guardiola backs Kyle Walker to bounce back after his second England snub
- Gareth Southgate picked Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kieran Trippier in squad
- Guardiola feels Walker has the capabilities to remain at the elite level of football
- The 29-year-old still remains first-team regular for Guardiola at Manchester City
Pep Guardiola insisted Kyle Walker will bounce back after his second omission from the England squad – but warned Joao Cancelo is breathing down his neck at Manchester City.
Gareth Southgate picked Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kieran Trippier for European Championship qualifiers against Czech Republic and Bulgaria, citing their attacking qualities.
Guardiola maintained Walker has the capabilities to remain as the first choice before admitting Cancelo, a £60million signing from Juventus, is providing stiff competition.
Pep Guardiola has backed Kyle Walker to bounce back after his second England snub
‘Kyle Walker can do everything,’ Guardiola said. ‘It’s the opinion of the national manager. He made a selection, he’s decided the last two times.
‘Kyle respects it, I respect it. He does what’s best for the national team. My opinion of Kyle doesn’t change. He remains a top full back.
‘It’s big challenge for him to show the England manager how good he is. We’ve always got a challenge in sport. We have targets and he has one in front of him in every single game.
Gareth Southgate picked Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kieran Trippier for the upcoming ties
‘He came here (from Tottenham) as an outstanding player and he still is. His physicality is strong, he’s fast and we try to help him to be a better player.
‘I don’t have doubts about Kyle. We needed competition for him and let him rest. Maybe when Joao plays in a good level, (then he can) take his position. That’s how it is.’
Walker, 29, still has the shirt at City and is expected to get the nod against Wolves on Sunday. Kevin De Bruyne will miss out through injury in midfield.
Walker remains a first-team starter at City though Joao Cancelo was brought in to challenge
Guardiola revealed Cancelo is beginning to adapt to his team’s way of playing after starts against Preston and Dinamo Zagreb.
‘He has made a step forward,’ the City boss added. ‘He arrived late, not in the pre-season, and what he did with a previous team was completely different.
‘He’s getting better. We don’t have doubts with the ball and he’s beginning to understand what we want without it.’