The Three Lions are certain to have a tough time blocking Kylian Mbappe’s relentless attacks in their FIFA World Cup‘s Round of 16 fixture this weekend.
At 32 -years-of-age, Kyle Walker is the senior-most player in the English squad but also the only defender who can match Mbappe when it comes to speed battle.
Will it be enough? Walker does believe that “he will rise to the challenge.” But, at the same time, he also admits that Mbappe is “one of the best if not the best in the world right now.”
So the logical question to ask is, is Kyle Walker the optimal solution to neutralize the 23-year-old French threat to England’s dreams of winning the World Cup?
While fans were fairly confident of Walker’s ability and confidence in being the ideal person to prevent Mbappe from getting on the scoresheet against England, they now have reason to believe otherwise.
In fresh scenes from England’s training before their quarter-final fixture, Jack Grealish and Kalvin Phillips, Walker’s teammates from Etihad, seem to be a step ahead of the veteran defender and the “chosen one” against France, quite literally.
Jack Grealish and Kalvin Phillips both took to Instagram to upload stories mocking teammate Walker lagging behind them in training sprints.
Now, whether the images show Walker putting in maximum effort, which he is likely to do on the pitch against France, is unknown.
But, if at all, the images contain even an ounce of truth, England should be terrified of the devastation that Kylian Mbappe can unleash on them.
The fact remains that Southgate’s squad has been hailed as one of the best squads to ever represent England on the FIFA forum and their form throughout the World Cup has been stellar, to say the least.
However, Mbappe is presently being hailed as the messiah for France’s second consecutive World Cup. And if Walker is not up to the task of keeping him out of the penalty area, he could put his clinical ability to put the ball in the back of the net.