“He knows what he’s doing, doesn’t he?”
That was Kyle Walker’s brilliant reaction when he found out that Jose Mourinho had picked him in his starting XI to face Croatia in the Euro 2020 opener in England on Sunday.
The Special One, speaking exclusively to talkSPORT on Friday, picked his line-up for the Wembley shock on Sunday and some of his calls surprised more than one.
Perhaps most important was his decision to go for Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell over Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw, with the pair notoriously sharing a bad relationship during their days together at Old Trafford.
Walker, however, got the go-ahead in his XI and it’s safe to say he was shocked by Mourinho’s decision.
“Oh, thank you José!” Walker said. “I think he knows what he’s doing because he’s been a manager for a long time. By putting me as right back, it is in my good books!
“Thanks José for that! “
Walker, speaking of the England squad in general, said the abundance of versatile players from the Three Lions should bode well for the tournament, having himself deployed as a center-back and full-back.
“Obviously there are staff in the team who can play in different positions,” he added. “Me and Reece [James] played as a right center-half. Luke [Shaw] did it for Manchester United.
“Everyone is able to play in multiple positions, Tripps [Kieran Trippier] right and left back – so it’s a good problem for Gareth to have to pick a starting XI.
“Each of us is here out of merit and it’s not just because of a few good performances. It went on all season and rightly so, everyone is here on merit. It’s good for the team and it’s good for English football so hopefully everyone can play at some point in the tournament to get us to that final we all want.
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