‘We’ve got the PERFECT right-back to deal with Mbappe’: Gary Neville and Rio Ferdinand agree Kyle Walker is ‘only defender on the planet’ that can stop him should England face France in the World Cup quarter-finals
After recovering from injury, Walker made his first appearance of the tournament as he played 57 minutes in the victory over Wales.
Rio Ferdinand believes Kyle Walker would ‘back himself’ in a race with Kylian Mbappe
Although Southgate started Kieran Trippier at right-back in England’s first two group games, Walker will be looking to play a prominent part at the tournament.
Ferdinand feels that Manchester City defender Walker will ‘back himself’ to get the better of Mbappe with his pace, despite the Frenchman being known for his speed.
Gary Neville also believes that Walker is the perfect right-back to deal with Mbappe
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Ferdinand said: ‘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.’
Mbappe is amongst the leading scorers at the World Cup with three goals and is undoubtedly one of the standout players in world football.
Ferdinand feels that Walker would be fazed by the prospect of taking on the France striker
Neville feels Walker, with his strength, pace and experience, can restrict the threat of Mbappe
However, Gary Neville believes that Walker, with his pace, strength and experience, is the ‘perfect right-back’ to deal with Mbappe.
At the age of 32 and with 71 caps for England, Walker possesses plenty of experience.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Neville said: ‘I always thought we’d play three at the back in this tournament, but I don’t think we will now.
‘I didn’t think the centre-back pairing would be strong enough, but John Stones and Harry Maguire are holding up.
‘It’s whether what they’ve played against so far in the first three games is going to be anything like what they face moving forward, and I don’t think it is.
‘It looks like a collision course waiting to happen doesn’t it? Mbappe versus Walker. We’ve got the perfect right-back to deal with Mbappe if anyone can – physical, pace, experience.’
There are still hurdles to overcome if England are to take on France in the last eight.
England have to get the better of Senegal in the last-16, while France will face Poland.