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24th Jun 2018

It’s safe to say that Arsene Wenger doesn’t agree with Kyle Walker’s England position

Tell us what you really think, Arsene

Darragh Murphy

Kyle Walker has admitted himself that he would prefer to play right-back for England.

Walker has solidified his status as one of the best full-backs in the Premier League after a terrific debut season for Manchester City but he has taken up a different position for his country at the World Cup.

The 28-year-old has been utilised by Gareth Southgate as part of a back three with John Stones and Harry Maguire, with Kieran Trippier occupying a wing-back position for the opening pair of group games.

“If the gaffer feels me playing at right centre-half is beneficial to the team then why not? It’s still a relatively new experience for me, but it’s new tools in my toolbox,” Walker told PA Sport prior to the tournament.

It doesn’t look like Southgate has any plans to change his system, so long as everyone remains fit, but former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Walker is an accident waiting to happen as a centre-back.

Wenger was providing analysis ahead of England’s second Group G game against Panama on Sunday afternoon when he ripped into Walker’s abilities as a defender before insisting that Eric Dier should be starting for the Three Lions instead.

“The point is that he’s not a real defender and especially not a central defender,” Wenger told beIN Sports.

“And he can be subject to make defensive mistakes that he would not make when he plays on the right.

“The sacrificed player, and nobody talks about him despite the fact that he’s played all the games before, is Dier.

“He has always played in every single game but since the start of the competition, we have not seen him.

“He can play in the middle of centre-back and he can play in midfield as well. Until now and I don’t know why but he has not been used at all.”