Kyle Walker came into the spotlight most recently with a good goal for Aston Villa against Sheffield United in the FA Cup. Now Fabio Capello has mentioned his name when talking about potential right backs for his England squad.
It is exciting for England that Capello is willing to put less experienced lads like Walker, Gibbs and Henderson in the spot-light and consider young in-form players when compiling his squads. Walker’s attacking capabilities are what he has been praised for, and he looks to be creative and skilful.
Since Micah Richards is injured, Capello needs to decide who he should have in his squad as a second right back. Martin Kelly is a steady right back but he has not set the world on fire. He is competent defensively but not a modern day full back with pace and flair. That is not to say that he would not do a decent job in international football, but I don’t think he is the answer for England, I want to see England with quick full backs and playing with skill and energy. Walker is raw, but he has potential. In him and Kieran Gibbs we are presented with a genuine possibility of that. England’s forthcoming game against Denmark on 9 February could be a great opportunity to offer Walker a taste of international football, even if just for 20 minutes.
Walker’s career, so it seems, is set to take off in the future. He has not managed to break into Tottenham’s first team yet but, if this season goes well at Aston Villa he could do next year.
Meanwhile Alan Hutton has occupied the right back role in the majority of Tottenham’s games this year. It appears that Redknapp likes have a quick full back and so has chosen Hutton over Corluka. for me, Hutton is not great defensively, and for someone who is labelled as an attacking full back, his final ball often fails to flatter. Corluka is not as quick but he is not useless on the ball and had a good season last year. I think he has been unlucky not to play more this season.
But, with the fact that Harry likes a dynamic full back, coupled with the attacking abilities Walker has shown, I would not be surprised to see him playing more games next year in a white shirt. I have heard a Spurs fan call him a ‘new right-sided Gareth Bale’. While the extent of this may be debatable, Tottenham fans would be licking their lips in anticipation if it were true.
My only worry is that Walker may not be playing week in week out at Villa and early signs seem to suggest this might be the case. He has not even been in the squad for Villa’s last two games, which they have won (he has been struggling with a back injury). Houllier has gone with a back line of Clark, Collins, Dunne and Cuellar at right back. This is a solid but uninteresting defensive unit. With Agbonlahor, Young and Bent though, pace going forward does not seem to be his worry.
It is early days in Walker’s spell at Villa and his goal in the FA cup will have shown Houllier what kind of an option he can offer. Against Birmingham he had a swagger about him which is important for a youngster. A Spurs fan could still have preferred him to have gone back to QPR where he would play every game but Premier league exposure is the goal for him at the moment.
He is still only 20 and he has done well at Sheffield United, and QPR. A good game in the FA cup, against a Championship side, does not prove that he is ready but it does prove that he has a lot of talent. I like the look of Walker and I would not be surprised if this time next year he is playing regularly in the Spurs first team. Only time will tell…