Pep Guardiola believes Kyle Walker’s omission from the England squad represents a ‘big challenge’ for the full-back to ‘show how good he is.’
Walker was left out by Gareth Southgate for the Three Lions’ upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, having also missed out on the previous qualifiers in September.
But the Spanish boss remained respectful of Southgate’s decision and claimed Walker’s omission was a good opportunity for him to prove his doubters wrong.
“He came being an outstanding player and he is still an outstanding player” Guardiola said.
“Physicality is strong, fast, we try to help him since we are together to be a better player.
“Walker can do everything but Gareth has his opinion, he made his selection and he decided for the last two times and Kyle and I respect it.
“He does what he thinks is best for the national team. It’s a big challenge for Kyle to show how good he is, my opinion doesn’t change if he is in the national team or not – he remains an incredible footballer.”
Guardiola also revealed new summer signing Joao Cancelo could feature a lot more in the upcoming period to provide Walker with some fresh competition at right-back.
“He made a step forward against Preston and was really good too,” Guardiola added.
“He arrived late in pre-season so most of the things we worked on were completely different to what he was used to so he needed time but he’s getting better.
“We cannot play 11 months with just one full-back. We need this position to make it competitive for Kyle.”
Guardiola also revealed Kevin De Bruyne will not play against Wolves.
The influential Belgian midfielder missed the midweek Champions League victory over Dinamo Zagreb after suffering a groin injury in the latter stages of last weekend’s victory at Everton.
Here is what Guardiola had to say in his press conference ahead of Man City vs Wolves on Saturday…
On Kevin De Bruyne
“Sometimes he doesn’t play. There was one game at Norwich.
“Sometimes he is a substitute but when he feels good he is good.
“”Tomorrow he is not fit. After the international break he will be ready. It is not a big problem.”
On Bernardo Silva’s tweet
“No comments anymore.”
On City’s home form
“Our first season was not consistent. I had just landed here and thought home would be strong and away tough and it was the opposite.
“Since then, we are strong at home. To maintain, to try to win the title you have to be strong at home to have a chance but we start good because we want to play in that way for 90 minutes doing everything. Sometimes we are lucky, sometimes not.”
“Yesterday they took an incredible result. I saw the game and they were so solid as expected.
“At the end, they have a team to make you suffer in the Premier League.
“They know exactly what they have to do, three or four seasons together and there is a really impressive defensive structure.
“We have to be smart to take a result. ”
On Liverpool’s ‘lucky’ goal last week
“It’s football. It happened last season and it will happen again this season.
“You need luck to win games or titles. I’m proud of what we have done and the way we have done it.”
On Fernandinho’s fitness
“He didn’t have many minutes in his legs before these games. Except the last part of last season, he’s played every three days over 11 months. I think he can do it.”
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