GARETH SOUTHGATE has assured Kyle Walker he will be given every chance of reaching the World Cup – even if he can’t prove his fitness by playing before the roster is announced.
The 32-year-old Manchester City defender is expected to recover from groin surgery next week.
And the England boss is keen for Walker to join his 26-man squad, even though he’s unlikely to play for City before the World Cup break.
City’s last Premier League clash is against Brentford on November 12 and that could come too soon for Walker.
Southgate will name his squad for Qatar two days before this game and if Walker is close to fit he is likely to make the cut regardless of whether or not he will be fit for the opener against Iran on November 21.
Southgate took a similar risk on Harry Maguire’s fitness ahead of last summer’s European Championships – and the move has paid off.
With Reece James out with a knee injury, Walker’s ability to play at right-back or on the right side of a three-man defense is now even more important.
The Three Lions management team is in close contact with the player’s camp for updates on his fitness.
In an interview last week, Walker said he was “confident” of making it to Qatar.
Kieran Trippier will start at right-back against Iran, with Trent Alexander-Arnold now likely to join the squad with Liverpool team-mate Joe Gomez.
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Walker told BBC Radio 5 Live: “My first thought now is to go back to England.
“I am confident. I’ve been through enough in my career to know my body. I’m way beyond what they thought possible at the time.
“I just feel like I can do it. I have to be patient. There will be bumps along the way but hopefully when selection comes I’ll be there.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6483244/kyle-walker-world-cup-england-chance-man-city/ Kyle Walker WILL be called up in England’s provisional World Cup squad as Southgate tries desperately to have an injured ace in Qatar