Walker eager to repay trust after reprieve by Southgate
Kyle Walker has acknowledged that Gareth Southgate has given him an England reprieve after making “bad decisions” – twice being accused of breaking lockdown protocols this year as his personal problems mounted.
Walker, 30, is back in for the Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark having been omitted by Southgate from the three previous squads, raising questions about the his international future.
The Manchester City full-back was forced to issue a public apology in April after breaking lockdown rules by inviting two sex workers to his home, then he faced allegations that he visited family members in South Yorkshire.
Walker told BBC Five Live he and Southgate had discussed his situation before the squad was announced. “Me and the boss spoke after the lockdown incidents and, you know, he assured me that we all
make mistakes,” he said. “Obviously, mine was on a bigger scale and gets magnified with me being in the public eye and a role model to young children.”
Walker added: “I reflect on, you know, my decision making. It was bad decisions from me at an important time for the country and the world. I take full responsibility for that but I’m moving on now. ”
Meanwhile, Jordan Pickford is facing a fight for the England No1 spot with his position already under threat from Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope, who hopes to start ahead of him against Iceland on Saturday. And Pickford could face an additional challenge from Dean Henderson this season if the 23-year-old can force his way in ahead of David de Gea at Manchester United after signing a new contract at Old Trafford.