Axed Kyle Walker is fighting for his England future after being left out of Gareth Southgate’s squad for upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers
- Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Kieran Trippier were included
- Right-back cohort left no room for veteran defender Kyle Walker in squad
- Manchester City full-back’s omission caused biggest stir in surprise exclusion
- Gareth Southgate warned there are no guarantees Walker will get picked again
Kyle Walker is fighting to save his England future after he was axed by Gareth Southgate on Thursday.
Manager Southgate chose Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Kieran Trippier as his recognised right backs for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria a week on Saturday and Kosovo on September 10.
He also included uncapped trio Tyrone Mings, Mason Mount and James Maddison, while there was a surprise recall for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after his return from a serious knee injury.
Gareth Southgate opted not to call up Manchester City’s veteran full-back Kyle Walker
Walker was surprisingly left out and could face a battle to rescue his international career
But it was the shock omission of Manchester City right back Walker, 29, from Southgate’s 25-man squad that caused the biggest stir.
When asked whether Walker’s omission was just for this squad, Southgate replied: ‘It depends on how well everybody does.’
Walker — widely recognised as one of the best full backs in Europe — has been a mainstay of Southgate’s plans.
But the manager explained: ‘We’ve got to give some opportunity to develop some other players. Without getting Trent’s head too big, too quickly, he’s got to be one of those we look to integrate and give more opportunity to.
Manchester United youngster Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been called up to the senior squad
Trent Alexander-Arnold will start as favourite to secure the right-back slot for the qualifiers
‘With Aaron [we’ve got] a completely different kind of player so we’ve got Kieran as a bit of cover and there’s no point bringing Kyle in if the intention is not to start him in the games. He’s a senior player and he’ll value the rest and recovery as much as anything.’
And Southgate has warned Walker that there are no guarantees he will win his place back.
‘We know everything about Kyle really and, whilst I don’t want to give the impression that we are taking these fixtures for granted on results, these lads are playing at a high level, week-in week-out and it’s a good chance to help them develop.
‘Otherwise we’ll get to a tournament and they’ll still be stuck on two or three caps, and we have got to try and get that balance.’
Dele Alli, John Stones and Eric Dier are all absent through injury.
Walker has been left out in part to allow other younger players to develop on the big stage