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Kyle Walker again proved his value against Vinicius Jr

Irish journalist Dan McDonnell joined Joe Molloy on The Football Show to discuss Manchester City...



Irish journalist Dan McDonnell joined Joe Molloy on The Football Show to discuss Manchester City and Kyle Walker.

Kyle Walker is perenially under-appreciated.

He lacks the attacking prowess and creativity of Trent Alexander-Arnold or even Reece James. But Walker is no slouch going forward. He has just built his career on being an exceptional defender and that's less appreciated in this era of football.

Walker is an old-school fullback who man marks wingers, gets crosses into the box and runs up and down the sideline. But even tagging him as old-school is arguably unfair.

The skill set he shows off defensively would make him fit in any era of football. Pep Guardiola has kept him and played him so much over the years because of how good he is. The fact he can match up to the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Vinicius Jr without conceding an advantage is huge.

Dan McDonnell and Joe Molloy showed their appreciation of Walker on Wednesday night as Manchester City beat Real Madrid in the Champions League.

"There was a through ball to Vinicius where Kyle Walker took him with his recovery speed," McDonnell described.

"Most other defenders in the world would have been done. That would have been a goal. He is incredible in terms of [defending]. That recovery speed is his calling card...I watched him a good bit with England at the World Cup.

"I watched him against Mbappe in the big game in December in Qatar. And it was a great battle between them. But it was such a good battle between them that they never really had that moment. It was only once when they really went at it and you realize Walker is incredible."

Walker is so good that you wonder should teams move their wingers around to get away from him. Real Madrid kept Vinicius on the left side and he did nothing in the game of any real significance. It's the way Real Madrid play, but Walker never gave him an inch.

It only takes a couple of moves for a Premier League team to get relegated - Pat Nevin.

 

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