Gareth Southgate has revealed how he twice talked England defender Kyle Walker out of international retirement.
Walker scored his first goal for the Three Lions during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Ukraine in European Championship qualification, opening his goalscoring account for England on his 77th appearance.
The 33-year-old remains a key figure for the national team and could feature as England take on Scotland in a friendly fixture at Hampden Park on Tuesday evening.
Despite the competition for places at right-back, Southgate has revealed how he persuaded Walker to carry on representing England after each of the last two major tournaments.
“I’ve talked him out of [international] retirement twice, after the Euros and after the World Cup” Southgate said, as per the BBC.
“I think he loves being here and he’s wanted to keep going and now he’s thinking about how many caps can he get.
“He’s critical to us. If we’re talking about world-class players in their position in our team then he’s probably one of them.
“I think he didn’t realise how much value we have for him and how important he is for us. He’s probably not going to thank me for sharing that.”
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