Should England come up against France at the World Cup, Kyle Walker has been told he is the “only man” that can stop Kylian Mbappe.
England secured top spot in Group B with a 3-0 win against Wales on Tuesday, with Manchester City full-back Kyle Walker making his long-awaited return from a groin injury. The win means England will take on African champions Senegal in the last-16 on Sunday, with a quarter-final showdown with France after that a distinct possibility.
Should that become a reality then England will have to find a way of dealing with France striker Mbappe. The Paris Saint-Germain striker has scored three goals in two group stage outings, making life difficult for both Australian and Danish defenders.
Now that he is fit, Walker could be tasked with trying to keep Mbappe in check, whether Gareth Southgate opts to set his side up with a three or five-man defence. Two former England defenders certainly seem to think that is the case.
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“It looks like a collision course waiting to happen doesn’t it?” Gary Neville told Sky Sports. “Mbappe versus Walker. We’ve got the perfect right-back to deal with Mbappe if anyone can – physical, pace, experience.”
On his YouTube channel, Rio Ferdinand echoed the thoughts of his former teammate while adding that no one else can do what Walker can.
“For me, Kyle Walker is the only defender on the planet right now that will stand there and go to Mbappe: ‘Right, 1-v-1, let’s have a race’.
“He will back himself too. We saw it in the Euros. He’s got the confidence to do that and he’s the only one capable of doing that I think.”
Of course, before England start to think about a potential meeting with France they must overcome Senegal on Sunday. Walker, Foden, Jack Grealish, John Stones and Kalvin Phillips all featured against Wales and will be hoping to do so again in the last-16.