Guardiola full of praise for Kyle Walker

Kyle Walker Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola says Kyle Walker is similar to Philipp Lahm and Eric Abidal because of his versatility.

The Manchester City right-back was used as a right-sided centre-back by Gareth Southgate in England’s friendlies with the Netherlands and Italy.

Guardiola, who utilised the talents of both Abidal at Barcelona, and Lahm at Bayern Munich in different roles, was happy to see Southgate use his maraulding full-back in this way.

Speaking as his players returned from international duty and preparing his side to face Everton on Saturday evening, the City boss praised his England counterpart.

“He has the conditions to play there, I think it was a good decision by [England manager] Gareth Southgate. He can play in both positions.

“With three in the back you have a little bit more protection in the middle and he has the physicality.

“He’s fast in front, he’s intelligent, good at passing short and long, can go fast forwards and backwards. So, he can play there.

“He is open-minded and when that happens anything can happen.

“Abidal and Philipp Lahm could play in different positions and adapt immediately, so quickly, because they were so good. Kyle is quite similar.”

Guardiola added that he will not interfere in where Southgate wants to use Walker at the World Cup.

“They are his decisions, I’m not involved in that. He didn’t play in that position [for City], no, but the decision for the national team is for the national team manager,” he added.