England manager explains Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips selection

Both these players were major doubts for the Qatar World Cup.

The Man City duo underwent surgery in the past six weeks and Guardiola has been repeatedly asked for their fitness updates.

They were major doubts for the World Cup and England manager Gareth Southgate will assess their fitness over the coming weeks.

“Kalvin played last night. I think with him, he’s free of injury and we are aware that he is not going to be able to play seven 90 minutes, that won’t be possible,” said the England manager. “We’re going to have to build his fitness level. But he’s available and free of injury.

“We don’t really have… we have Declan Rice as a holding midfielder. Hendo [Jordan Henderson] can play there but it’s not his No.1 position, but we don’t have a lot of cover for that role. Kalvin is a super player and we feel that is a risk worth taking.”

“Kyle is a little bit different,” he continued. “He’s not back in full training yet, but he’s going to be available before the end of the group stage. Kyle is a long way ahead of that and is progressing really well.”


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