If I had to pick one defender in the world to deal with Kylian Mbappe, I couldn’t think of a better right-back than Kyle Walker.
And he could turn out to be the one who holds the key to England reaching their second consecutive World Cup semi-final.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Mbappe is the biggest threat to our chances when we play France on Saturday.
You need someone who can handle a player like that, and Kyle is the perfect man for the job.
I know exactly how good he is because I was his manager at Tottenham for three years. He’s an even better player now.
He’s fast, strong, and as hard to beat one-on-one as anyone. In short, the ideal man to deal with Mbappe’s speed and power.
But Walker could also be England’s secret attacking weapon on the right wing – if he picks the right moments to bomb forward.
Mbappe is obviously a massive threat, we all know that, but he’s not a modern winger who will charge back to help his defence.
When he loses the ball he tends to run around, hanging around the halfway line and waiting for France to win it back and get it back up.
As a right-back you have a decision to make – can I trust my winger if I leave or do I risk being put out of position if he tells me?
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Well, in Walker’s case, he definitely CAN trust Bukayo Saka when the moment is right because he’s such a smart player.
If you have a stray up there worry you are going on the overlap because if they lose the ball you will be punished by someone as good as Mbappe.
But Saka is a good player, he knows how to protect the ball and find Kyle at just the right moment – and that’s how we can open up France down the right flank.
So while Mbappe’s cross is the real danger, it’s an area where we can hurt France as much as they can hurt us.
Kyle just has to time it right, probably only a couple of times each half, but we’ll take chances from it – and they could mean the difference.
Then it’s important for Jordan Henderson to be aware and realize that when Walker is gone, he needs to be ready to stop by and find cover.
I see it more as a 50-50 game but I’ll tell you one thing – I really wouldn’t trade our roster for theirs.
And while everyone in England seems to be worried about Mbappe, they will be doing the same about Harry Kane. I’m sure French defender Rafael Varane is.
Harry was criticized a bit by some but against Senegal he was absolutely fantastic, connecting the game and getting people involved.
Scoring his first goal will give him a big boost – not that he’s ever lacking in confidence – and he’ll be burning for it.
Kane is looking really good again and we’ve seen what he can do at a World Cup when that’s the case.
Saka and Phil Foden will always be a threat against whoever they face as I look at the strength on the bench and just think wow.
Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish, Mason Mount. . . The talent we must bring forth is better than anyone else’s.
And then of course there is Jude Bellingham who is already a phenomenal player and is playing such a great tournament.
It’s a really good squad for me, so why not go all the way this time?
But first things first, let’s beat France – then we can really start dreaming.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6857409/walker-mbappe-england-france-world-cup-harry-redknapp/ I wouldn’t swap the England squad for the French one… and Walker is the perfect man to stop Mbappe in the World Cup fight, says Redknapp